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m m A FEW m the pnoiraENT business men of the \mm day. 


'^ I have a work to do, 
A work I must not shun; 

One path I will pursue, 
Until my aim be won; 

What others do I need not ask, 

Enough for me I know my task.'^ 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the j-ear 1S70, 

By John H. B. Nowland, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for 
the District of Indiana. 



The dedication of a book is generally considered as a com- 
pliment and mark of respect from the author to a personal 
friend, and significant of pure and disinterested friendship. 

Although the writer of this has many old friends worthy of 
such consideration, yet he can not in one work bestow it upon 
all. He has, however, selected from among the number one 
who is well worthy this slight testimonial of regard; and 
would that the work was more worthy to be dedicated to one 
who was his early friend ; rejoiced in his prosperity, and ever 
cheered him in adversity; the companion of his youth, and 
for years the inmate of the same house, and who in a 
treacherous world has never deserted him. 

I therefore respectfully inscribe "Early Reminiscences of 
Indianapolis, with Short Biographical Sketches of its Early 
Citizens, and a few of the Prominent Business Men of the 
present day," to Edwin J. Peck, the steadfast friend, the 
honest man, and the devoted Christian. 


Indianapolis, March i, 1S70. 


When a writer assumes to give reminiscences or sketches from per- 
sonal knowledge or observation, he will have to use the personal pro- 
noun I oftener than might seem to be in good taste. In this I hope 
the reader will pardon me, as I have to depend almost entirely upon 
my personal knowledge and observation for the facts of this history 
for the first five years after the settlement of Indianapolis. 

There are few, very few, persons now living who were here previous 
to the year 1825 ; of that class of old citizens several have died within 
a few years, therefore I have to depend upon my own impressions for 
reminiscences prior to the year named. Those impressions, however, 
were formed at a very early period of my life (six years of age), and 
at a time when once stamped upon the young mind, are indelible and 
can never be erased. They are, indeed, more fresh in my memory 
to-day than others that occurred but a few years since ; for their cor- 
rectness I would appeal to any person living here at that time. 

Therefore, I shall write what I know, and what I have seen of 
Indianapolis, from 1820 to 1870 ; and try to convey to the reader an 
idea of what Indianapolis was in its incipient state. 

The sudden rise, the energy of its population, the excellence of its 
institutions, its railroad facilities, the whole character of its people 
and prosperity, render Indianapolis prominent among the cities that 
have recently sprung into existence throughout a land notable for 
individual enterprise; and being most happily endowed with the 
natural advantages of climate and soil, makes it one of the most de- 
sirable cities of the great West. It is, therefore, meet that its present 
population and the country should know something of its beginning, 
and of those to whom they are indebted for converting it from a howl- 
ing wilderness to its present state of prosperity and social happiness, 
before the last of those old pioneers shall have passed away. 

The origin and condition of a city which has so recently become 
prominent among the chief cities of the Union, is a subject calculated 


to awaken attention among minds inquiring the effects of government, 
and otlier causes, on the destinies of the human race. 

As I remarked hefore of the pioneers of the ■wilderness, there are 
but few spared to enjoy the prosperity they contributed so much to 
produce. They can not look with apathy upon such exertions as will 
tend to perpetuate the history of the past; while the rising generation 
among us will naturally entertain a curiosity to know something of the 
men that founded and established the city of their birth and residence. 

Indianapolis, situated as it is in the midst of one of the finest agri- 
cultural and grain growing countries of the great West, it is not 
astonishing or surprising it has made the rapid stride to prosperity and 
wealth it has within a few years. It has only been about fifteen years 
since there was adequate facilities for the transportation of the great 
surplus of the country to market. Since that time its march has been 

It is not my purpose, in this work, to attempt to show, from the cen- 
tral location of Indianapolis, its great advantages over other cities of 
tlie "West. I leave that task for more able and wiser heads than mine. 
My object is merely to give reminiscences and sketches of its first set- 
tlers, and snatch from oblivion its past history, and sketches of those 
who have contributed so much to develop the resources of the country, 
and the great drawbacks against their energy, enterprise and industry 
they had to contend with. 'Tis with the past I expect mostly to deal, 
in a plain, unvarnished way; if it answers no other purpose, it may 
serve as a landmark for some future historian. 

In giving a correct history of the times, I will have to refer to some 
characters and circumstances the fastidious reader may think unworthy 
of notice. But I a&sure them I do not have to draw upon my imagina- 
tion to find them ; the characters were a part and parcel of the popula- 
tion, the circumstances a portion of the history; ** truth is stranger 
than fiction," and these reminiscences would be incomplete without 

Could the first settlers of Indianapolis, who for forty years " have 
slept the sleep that knows no waking," upon the banks of White River, 
awake to consciousness, how they would wonder and stare to see the 
village of log cabins they left, transformed into a city of sixty thousand 
inhabitants ; its twelve railroads centering into one common depot ; its 
thirty or forty magnificent temples dedicated to the worship of the 
only true and living God; its gorgeously decorated saloons of j)leasure 


and fashion, almost unequaled in tales of fairy land ; its hundreds of 
wooden steeds that canter or gallop at the will of the riders ; — would 
they not, like Rip Van Winkle, when he inquired for Jacob Stein, 
ask for something they had left behind ? 

Since I commenced writing these short sketches, I have recurred so 
often to names once familiar, and to scenes of my early youth and 
school-boy days, when there was not a cloud to obscure ray sun, nor a 
ripple upon my sea of life, when every brook and tree were as old 
acquaintances, I have been ready to exclaim with the poet, 

"0! would I were a boy again, 

When life seemed formed for sunny years." 

The reader will pardon me, I hope, if I use some of the cant phrases 
and other expressions of the ''early settlers." I would here remark, 
" I have no friends to reward nor enemies punish," What I know, 
and what I have seen of Indianapolis, I shall write as General Jackson 
construed the Constitution, "as I understand it." Therefore, if there 
are any who think I have not given their name the prominence they 
would wish, it will be the fault of their history, and not of my pen. 

In this work I will attempt to show the great variety of characters 
found in the early settlers of this city, and what I know personally of 
its history for fifty years. 






The act of Congress of April, 1816, granting Indiana ad- 
mittance into the Union, also donated lour sections of unsold 
public lands as a permanent seat of government, or capital of 
the new State. 

In consequence of the central portion of the State yet 
belonging to the Indians, the selection c^ the land was post- 
poned and not made until the summer of 1820. The Legis- 
lature that assembled in the winter of 1819-20, appointed 
ten commissioners, viz., Stephen Ludlow, John Conner, John 
Gilliland, George Hunt, Frederick Rapp, John Tipton, Joseph 
Bartholomew, Jesse B. Durham, William Prince, and Thomas 
Emerson, to make the selection. 

Frederick Rapp and other members of the commission 
from the Southern part of the State, met at Vincennes about 
the middle of May, 1820, preparatory to joining the others, 
at the house of Wm. Conner on White River, and near where 
the location would most likely be made. 

Matthias R. Nowland (the father of the writer), and his 
brother-in-law, Andrew Byrne, had been visiting some friends 
and relatives in Lawrence County, Illinois. On their return 
home, they happened at Vincennes at the time that portion of 
the commission were about to start to the upper White River, 
or the newly acquired territory, to carry out the objects for 
which they were appointed. 

10 Early Reminisce nses. 

My father aud uncle were persuaded and induced to join 
and accompany the party. The first settlement they found, 
after entering the new purchase, was at the Bluffs of White 
River, where there were about a half dozen families settled, 
including that of Jacob Whetzel, near whose cabin they en- 
camped one day to rest themselves and jaded horses. At 
this point the commission was not yet full; those that were 
there were very much pleased with the country, and after- 
wards proposed revisiting that place and giving it a more 
thoroui^h examination. 

The next stopping place or camping ground was on the east 
side of Fall Creek, at its junction with White River. Here 
they also remained one day, and most of them were favorably 
impressed. My father told them if the location was made here 
he would not only move out to it in the fall, but would try 
and induce other Kentuckians to join him. At that time 
there were about four or five families here, viz., Hardings, 
Wilson, Pogue, aud McCormicks, all of whom had come that 

My father and uncle remained at the camp at Fall Creek, 
while the others went to join their associates at the house of 
Wm. Conner, near where Noblesville now stands. 

The whole commission now for the first time beiuo; too-ether, 
they proceeded to examine Mr. Conner's favorite locality, 
which was near the present site of Noblesville. Very few fa- 
vored that place, and the whole party returned to their old 
camp at the mouth of Fall Creek. 

After a few days' further examination, this site was almost 
unanimously chosen on the 7th of June, 1820, and the whole 
delegation were greeted by the few families here with demon- 
strations of joy, *aud their scant stores of provisions freely 
divided with the commissioners. 

I shall never forget the tears shed in my father's family 
when he returned home and announced his intention of re- 

Removal to the New Purchase. 11 

moving to the new purchase in Indiana. This news was not 
long in finding its way to the ears of his numerous friends, 
who did all in their power to dissuade him from carrying 
out his intentions. They told him that he would never be 
permitted by the Indians to reach White River, if he started; 
that he was endangering the lives of his whole family; in 
short, every argument was used to deter him from attempting 
so hazardous an undertaking; but all arguments were of no 
avail; his mind was made up the moment the selection of the 
site was made by the commissioners. 



My father immediately set about making preparations for re- 
moving. He had no difficulty in selling his suburban residence 
of ten or twelve acres, and realized quite a handsome amount 
to begin with in a new country. He disposed of every article 
of wood or iron furniture that was not indispensable, or that 
could possibly be done without. He then loaded a large six- 
horse wagon with heavy necessary furniture and provisions 
sufficient for the winter use. 

The beds and bedding, and most of the clothing, were 
so arranged and packed as to be carried on the backs of 
horses. Feather beds were rolled up and tied together in 
such a way that one would rest on each side of the horse, 
forming a platform on the back of the animal, where one or 
two children could ride. My mother and grandmother were 
provided with single horses and side saddles, and when the 
whole caravan was in motion, would remind a person of a 
cavalcade of Bedouins, or Arabs. In this way, about the 
middle of October, 1820, we left our home in Frankfort, Ken- 
tucky, to seek our fortune among strangers, in a wilderness 
whose population was almost entirely savage. 

As a start in a journey is the main point, and when started 

12 Early Reminisce n as. 

half accomplished, my father only intended to go seven 
miles the first day and stop at the house of an old friend, at 
the Sulphur Springs, to which point we were accompanied by 
several of his friends, who held high carnival during the eve- 
ning. In parting with friends, all of whom were there to see 
us start, there was none more deeply afi"ected or showed more 
heartfelt sorrow than the old ne£rro woman who had nursed 
all my father's children. When parting with my mother, she 
fell on her knees, and prayed that God would watch over and 
protect her old mistress, and her children, from the tomahawk 
of the wild "Ingins," which brought tears to the eyes of all 
present. This good old woman would have come with us, but 
was deterred only by the fear of the Indians. My sister, now 
Mrs. S. H. Patterson, of JefFersonville, and myself, were placed 
on the platform made by feather beds, on the back of one of 
the horses. In descending a steep hill the first day we started, 
the horse stumbled, landing her and myself on the rocky road, 
with beds on top of us. 

In about four days we reached the Ohio, at the mouth of 
the Kentucky River. Here we encountered the first difficulty 
of any moment. The ferry-boat had left the spring before 
for parts unknown. Fortunately the river was quite low, and 
the only possible way of getting over was to unload the 
wagon and take it to pieces, and ferry over in a skiff a por- 
tion at a time. The running gear was taken over in this way 
and put together; then the large body or bed was floated 
over; then the furniture was taken over and reloaded, and the 
horses swam over; and last the family were ferried over the 
evening of the second day, and camped for the first time in 
Indiana, on the north bank of the Ohio River. 

The ferryman at that time was George Ash, well known in 
frontier history, having, when a child, been taken prisoner 
and raised entirely by the Indians. He lived on the Indiana 
side, could scarcely speak a word of English, wore rings in 

Removal to the New Purchase. 13 

his ears and nose, and dressed in Indian style. Although he 
had a very good house, he had not a chair or bedstead in it, 
and lived in every way like a savage. 

From Ash's Ferry, as it was then called, we went by way of 
Versailles to Napoleon, in Ripley County; this occupied two 
days. Although we had an open road, it was quite hilly and 
rough. At Napoleon we camped near the house of William 
Wilson, son of Isaac Wilson, living at that time in this place, 
of whom I will speak in another sketch. Here we bought corn, 
and had it ground into meal on a small hand-mill belonging 
to Mr. W. This occupied one day. Here ended the road, 
and commenced Berry's Trace, which had to be cut out before 
the large wagon could get along. 

The first house from Napoleon was that of Montgomery, on 
"Flat Rock," about nine miles above where Columbus now 
stands. Here we were detained one day in consequence of 
the wagoner having foundered one of his horses. While here 
we were overtaken by Henry Bradley, his brother William, 
and Bob Sacre, who had agreed to meet us at the mouth of the 
Kentucky River. This acquisition in numbers and strength, 
with three additional trusty rifles, was truly encouraging, and 
gave confidence to the whole party, especially two young men, 
James Graves and Nathaniel Jones, who had begun to show 
signs of fear soon after we crossed the Ohio River, so much 
so my father was afraid they would take the back track. 

From Montgomery's the next house was that of Captain 
John Berry, father of Colonel Nineveh Berry, now of Madi- 
son County. Mr. Berry lived at the mouth of Sugar Creek, 
on Blue River, about three miles from where Edinburg now 
is. There also we stopped one day and replenished our stock 
of fresh meat by the purchase of a hog, and one of the 
party, I think Mr. Henry Bradley, killing a fine buck. My 
father had stopped at Mr. Berry's in the summer, and formed 
quite an attachment for him. 

1-4 Early Reminiscences. 

About the time we were there, a circumstance happened 
that gave name to a creek in that vicinity, which it now bears, 
and will, I suppose, as long as water runs in its bed. Nineveh 
Berry, then quite young, had killed a deer; with the deer on 
his shoulder and gun in his hand, he attempted to cross the 
creek on a log; the bark of the log slipped, throwing Mr. B., 
deer and gun into the water. When he went home, he told 
his father the circumstance, who immediately named the creek 

The next day we reached the house of Loper, which was 
where Berry's Trace crossed that of Whetzell's, about three 
miles southwest of Greenwood. This place is now owned by 
William Law. It may be proper here to say there are two 
places in Johnson County, known as where Loper's cabin 
stood. This point is where his first house was. He after- 
wards sold this place, and built another cabin about five 
miles east of it, on a creek now known as Hurricane. We 
stayed at Loper's on the night of the third of November. 
The next morning set in a violent snow storm. Mr. Bradley 
proposed to my father to take the family on horseback, and 
go on and have them a warm dinner by the time they would 
arrive with the wagon. This he did, and we arrived about 
twelve o'clock, the fourth day of November, at the house of 
that good old Samaritan, Isaac Wilson, which was on the 
northwest corner of the State House Square. About four 
o'clock 3Ir. B. and friends came in with the wasron. 

It was on this evening, my little eyes (as old Johnny Ewing 
would say) first opened upon a live "Ingin," of which I had 
heard so much. I had gone to the river with the teamster to 
help him water his horses. At the river one of the Hardiugs 
detained me to ask questions about the "new comers," what 
their names were, and where from. By the time I had an- 
swered the various questions, the teamster had reached the 
wagon; the horse l was riding was very restive, and finally 

Flrd Winter in Lulianapolis. 15 

threw me. I jumped up, and followed along the path ; when 
about where Miekel's brewery stands, I met a "big Injun." 
I don't know which was the worst scared, he or I; but I 
suppose I was. I did not stop to ask him any foolish ques- 
tions, or compliment him upon his warrior-like appearance; 
but I think I made about as good time between that and the 
wagon as there is on record. One yelp and a few jumps took 
me to the wagon. What became of him I did not look back 
to see. And here commences what I know and have seen of 


We found Mr. Wilson with quite a large family of his own, 
although he told my father he would be welcome to the use 
of one of his two cabins until such time as he would be able 
to build one for himself; but that a Quaker from Wayne 
County, named Billy Townsend, had been out and raised a 
cabin and covered it, but had neither cut out a door, window^ 
or place for a chimney. It was situated in the middle of 
Kentucky avenue, about midway between Illinois and Ten- 
nessee streets. 

My father did not take the liberty of cutting out the doors 
and chimney, lest he would not get them in the place the 
owner wished; so he pried up two corners of the house and 
took out the third log from the bottom, which would, by 
climbinsr, be suflScient for inj>;ress and egress. A few boards 
were removed from the middle of the roof for the escape of 
smoke, the fire being built in the middle of the room on the 
ground, there being no floor. This house had neither "chink- 
ing or daubing." My mother lined the inside walls by hang- 
ing up rag carpeting, which rendered it quite comfortable for 
the short time we occupied it. The whole entire male popu- 
lation were prompt to tender their services to assist in build- 
ing a cabin of our own ; this, with seven men already at my 

16 Early Reminiscences. 

father's command, enabled him in a few days to have a com- 
fortable cabin, which he built on the west bank of the ravine 
(where the canal now runs), about midway between "Washing- 
ton and Maryland streets. 

At this cabin of Townsend's, the men enjoyed very much 
the going in and out of my grandmother. She was quite a 
large but short woman, pretty near as thick as she was long, 
and none enjoyed the fun more than the old lady herself. 

Our new cabin was eighteen by twenty feet square; the 
chimney, which was in the east end, would take in a ''back 
log" eight i'QQt in length, and a "fore stick" ten feet. There 
were two doors, one on the north, and the other on the south 
side, opposite. These doors were made in this way to facili- 
tate the making of fires. The back sticks were about eighteen 
inches in diameter; one end was placed on a sled called a 
'"lizard," to which the horse was hitched, and driven through 
the house until the log was opposite the fire-place, and then 
rolled to its place in the fire; and so with the fore stick; and 
the smaller fuel carried in and placed on top; the two large 
sticks would last about twenty-four hours. 

Although this was one of the coldest winters ever experi- 
enced in this country, the ground covered with snow from the 
time we arrived here (4th November) until the first of March, 
we lived as comfortable and contented as " Friday and Robin- 
son Crusoe;" there wxre "none to hinder or make us afraid," 
wuth the exception of our dusky neighbors — they were pretty 
quiet during the winter. 

The day before Christmas of that year, one of our house- 
hold killed a turkey in front of our door, and where Wash- 
ington street crosses the canal, that weighed twenty-three 
pounds before it was dressed. It was so fat that the fall from 
the top of the tree burst it open. 

About four o'clock, Christmas morning, we were awakened 
by a salute from eight or ten rifles, and the cry of "Get up. 

Indian Attempts to Cut a Door Doion. 17 

Kaintuck; we want some of that old peach brandy and honey;" 
which my father understood very well to be some excellent 
peach brandy he brought from Kentucky, of which they had 
drank freely while building our cabin. When he opened the 
door, the entire male portion of the Harding and McCormick 
population stepped into the cabin, and gave three cheers for 
<'01d Kaintuck, the new comer." 

After paying the brandy the highest compliment in their 
power by drinking freely of it, they went to and saluted the 
inmates of the different cabins in a similar way. There was 
no petty jealousy in the people at that day; all seemed on an 
equality; indeed, they seemed to think their only safety from 
their dusky neighbors was in unity and harmony— all seemed 
as members of one common family. 

There were several accessions of families during that win- 
ter. A large portion of them were from Kentucky, among 
which were Robert Wilmot, George Buckner, Maxwells, Cow- 
ans, Daniel Shaffer (the first merchant), and many others. It 
was a noticeable fact that when one of the settlers should 
visit his old home, it would be followed by an increase of the 
population from that locality. 

The two Messrs. Bradley stayed pretty much all winter, 
and assisted in clearing land preparatory for raising a "crap" 
the ensuing summer. 


One bright, sunny Sunday morning, about the middle of 
March, 1821, my father and myself took a walk to the river. 
When within about fifty yards of the house of John McCor- 
mick (which stood where the toll-house now stands, at the 
east end of White River bridge), we heard cries of "Help! 
Murder!" etc., coming from the house. We ran, and by the 
time we got there several men had arrived. 

^^ Early Beminiscences. ■{ 

It appears a well kuown and desperate Delaware, knowu as 
Big Bottle (from the fact that he generally carried hung to 
his belt a very large bottle), had come to the opposite b-mk 
of the river, and demanded to be brought over. Mr. MeCor- 
Miiek not being at home, his wife refused to take the canoe 
over for him, knowing that he wanted whisky, and when 
drinking was a very dangerous Indian. 

He set his gun down against a tree, and plunged into the 
river and swam over, and when we reached the house was as- 
cending the bank, tomahawk in hand, preparatory to cutting 
his way through the door, which Mrs. McCormick had barri"^ 
caded, At the sight of the several men he desisted from his j 
intention, and said he only wished to "scare white squaw." I 
He was taken back to his own side of the river in the canoe \ 
and admonished that if he attempted to scare the white squaw \ 
again her husband would kill him. This rather irritated him 1 
and he flourished his scalping-knife toward her, and intimated 1 
l>y signs from her head toward his belt, that he would take \ 
her scalp; but he never did, as I saw it on her head j 
a few weeks since. She now lives in Johnson County, two 
lu.les north of Wavcrley. The husband of this woman. John ^ 
McCormu-k, built this house, the first in this place, February •' 
-bth, 1820, when commenced the first settlement of Indian- 
apolis; although it has been asserted by some that Geor-e 
1 ogue was here and settled in 1810, which I am prepared to - 
show by the most indubitable evidence, is not the case, and i 
tha John McCormiek was the first, and that it was the latter ^ 
part of lebruary, 1820, and then followed, that sprint the ^ families, Wilsons, Pogues, which were about thronly ' 
fam.hes here when we came on the fourth of November of 
that year. 

Kobert Wilmot, the second merehant, had a small stock of 
l^oods and I„d,a„ ,H„k,,,,, a„d for a short time carried ou a 
trade „,.h the ludians; bu, a lit.le eireumstance occurred 

Indian AUemj)ts to Cat a Door Down, 19 

that frightened him, and he soon returned to Georgetown, 
Kentucky, his former residence. 

A Delaware Indian, named Jim Lewis, had pledged some 
silver hat-bands to Wilmot for goods, and was to return in 
two moons and redeem them. His word he kept, but when he 
came back Wilmot had sold them to another Indian, which 
exasperated Lewis so he threatened W. that if he ever found 
him going to his corn-field alone he would take his scalp. 
This frightened him so much that he never would go alone, 
but often requested and was accompanied by the late Doctor 
Livingston Dunlap. So fearful was he that Lewis would exe- 
cute his threat, he sold out, and, as before stated, returned to 
Kentucky, as it was pretty generally known that Lewis was 
the murderer of the white man found near the Bluffs on an 
island of White River. This threat against Wilmot had a 
tendency to alarm and put on their guard other settlers. 

That spring my father made sugar at an old Indian sugar 
camp (many of the trees are yet standing), at the south-east 
end of Virginia avenue. He was alone at night boiling the 
sap. He discovered coming direct to him, and only about 
thirty steps distant, a man he at once took to be Jim Lewis. 
He raised his rifle, pointed it at the man, and directed him to 
stop. The person threw up his hands, and cried out, "Don't 
shoot, Nowland, it is Harris." It turned out to be an old 
friend from Kentucky, named Price Harris, who had just ar- 
rived that evening, and wished to go out to the camp that 
night. He wore a white hat, which my father took for the 
silver bands Lewis wore on his hat. After this threat, for 
some time the settlers did not feel secure, and every little in- 
cident created alarm. 

The supposed murder of G-eorge Pogue by the Indians, 
about this time, increased the alarm, and put the settlers 
more on their guard than they had ever been. A full account 
of the disappearance of Mr. Pogue, or all that was ever 

20 Early JRcminiscences. 

known of it. I will give in the next sketch. One writer says 
he was killed about (laylijrht on a certain morning. How he 
founil that out I am at a loss to understand, as those who 
lived here at the time never knew he was killed at all, 
although the circumstances are pretty strong that he came to 
his death by the hands of the Indians. After reading the 
next sketch the reader will be enabled to judge for himself. 


Was a large, stout man, very dark complexion, black hair, 
very broad shoulders, and was, at the time he disappeared, 
about fifty years of age. His dress was something like that 
of a "Pennsylvania Dutchman," broad brim, black wool hat, 
and a drab overcoat, with several capes. To look at the 
man. you would think he defied all the "Injuns" in the "New 
Purchase." His cabin was built on the south-east bank of 
the creek that took its name from him, at the east end of the 
Donation, and near where Governor Noble's residence after- 
wards stood. He was a blacksmith by trade, and the first of 
that trade to enter the "New Purchase." He, like most all 
that were here in his day, was directly from "in yonder on 
White Water." 

About the first of April, 1821, a straggling Wyandotte In- 
dian, known to the settlers, as well as Indians, as "Wyan- 
dotte John," stopped at the house of Mr. Pogue about twilight 
one evening, and requested to stay all night. 3Ir. Pogue did 
not like to keep him, but thought it best not to refuse him, 
as he was known to be a very bad and desperate man, having 
left his own tribe in Ohio for some ofi-cuse, and was now livin- 
among the different Indiana tribes. His principal lodging! 
I.lacc the previous winter was a hollow sycamore log, tha°t ky 
under the bluff, and just above the east end of White liiver 
bridge. On the upper side of this log he had hooks (made 

George Pogae. 21 

by cutting the forks or limbs of the trees), on which he hung 
his gun; at the end of the log that lay next to the water he 
built his fire, which rendered this log about as comfortable as 
most of the cabins, I well remember it as I have described it. 
After John had something to eat, Mr. Pogue, knowing him to 
be traveling from one Indian camp to another, inquired of 
John if he had seen any white man's horses at any of the 
camps. He said he had left a camp of Delawares that morn- 
ing (describing their place to be on Buck Creek, about twelve 
miles east, and near W-liere the Rushville State Road now 
crosses said creek), and that he had seen horses there with 
iron hoofs (meaning that were shod), and described the horses 
so as to lead Mr. Pogue to believe they were his. Although 
he had described the horses very accurately, Mr. Pogue was 
afraid that it was a deception to lure him into the woods, and 
mentioned his suspicions to his family. 

When the Indian left his house next morning, he took a 
direction toward the river, where nearly all the settlement 
was. Mr. Pogue followed after him some distance, to see 
whether he would turn his course or not toward the Indian 
camps, and found that John kept a direct course toward the 

Mr. Pogue returned to his house, took his gun, and with 
his dog set out for the Delaware camp, and was never seen or 
heard of after. It is not true that he was seen near the In- 
dian camp, or that gunshots were heard in that direction, or 
that his horses and clothing were seen in the possession of 
the Indians; although there can be but little doubt that the 
Wyandotte told him true, and that he found his horses in the 
hands of the Delawares, and in trying to get possession of 
them got into a difl&culty with the Indians, and was killed — 
at least such was the prevailing opinion here at the time, but 
any certainty as to his fate was never known, and of course 

22 . Early Reminiscences. 


:it tliis late day never will be. The settlers made a thor- 
ou«,'h Heareh throuj^'h all the Indian camps within thirty or 
forty miles, but never saw or heard anything of him. 

In the summer of 1840, the writer employed John Pogue, 
son of George, to build a log cabin for the use of the Tippe- 
canoe Club. While there at work I asked John what his 
opinion was as to the fate of his father. He said, "he was 
killed beyond a doubt at the Delaware camp on Buck Creek. 
The summer after my father left home, I was hunting south 
of our residence. I heard the report of a rifle, which was 
but a few steps from me. Knowing it to be from the gun of 
an Indian, I directed my steps immediately to it, before he 
would have time to reload his gun, as I had sworn to kill 
every Indian I met alone in the woods. A few steps from 
whore I first hoard the crack of the rifle, I saw a large, tall 
Indian reloading his rifle. I took a sure aim, and down came 
Mr. ' Injun.' I was surprised, when I went up to him, to find 
lio had my father's hat on." 

In answer to my question why he never let it be known at 
tho time, he said he was afraid he would be prosecuted for the 
murder. IIo said he and his brother Tom went out at night, 
and brought the Indian to their corn-field and buried him. 
This story could not have been true, as the Indian would 
have been missed by his friends, and a disturbance made 
about it. John Pogue had got to be quite dissipated, and 
sometimes hardly knew what he said himself. 

I do not think there are any of the children of George 
Pogue now living, at least not in this country. The last of 
the family, Bennett, removed to some of the Western States, 
and I understand died soon after. 

I have endeavored to give a true account of the mysterious 
and first incident of note connected with the settlement of 
this city. 

John McCormiek. 23 

JOHN Mccormick 

Was the first white man that settled in this city. He ar- 
rived here on the twenty-sixth day of February, 1820, and 
built his cabin on the bank of White River, about ten steps 
below the east end of the National Road bridge. His two 
brothers, Samuel and James, helped him to move out and 
build his cabin. James' family arrived here on the seventh 
of March; Samuel did not bring his family until the next 

Mr. McCormiek kept the first tavern in the place, and en- 
tertained the commissioners a part of the time when they 
were here for the purpose of selecting a site for the seat of 
government. He was very expert with a gig, and could fill a 
canoe with the most choice fish in a few hours. He frequently 
gigged the inferior kinds to feed to his hogs. 

Mr. McCormiek was the first man to leave the fort at Con- 
nersville, and build a house for a residence, about the year 
1813, and there remained until his removal to this place. He 
died at his residence on the bank of the river in the year 
1825. His widow married a man named King, and moved 
within one mile of the bluifs of White River, where she yet 
lives, a widow the second time. 

Samuel and James McCormiek lived in this county many 
years — Samuel on the farm now owned by Charles Garner, 
on the west bank of the river, at the crossing of the Craw- 
fordsville State road. From there he moved to Hendricks 
County, near Cartersburgh, and there died in June, 18G7. 

James McCormiek died in this county many years since, 
and left a large family of children, most of whom live in 
Hendricks County, where their mother also resides. 

John McCormiek, eldest son of Samuel, yet lives one mile 
west of the city, on the National Road, and is in the nursery 
and gardening business. 

24 Early Reminiscences. 

The three elder McCormicks were considered honest and 
industrious men, and respected in their neighborhood. There 
has been considerable said and written as to who was the first 
settler in this place, some claiming that George Pogue was; 
but I have evidence beyond dispute that Pogue did not come 
until the latter part of March of that year. 

It was Mrs. McCormick that my father and others saved 
from falling into the hands of a desperate Indian, that I re- 
iVrred to on another page. 


The Widow Harding and several sons came to this place in 
tlie spring of 1820. Her cabin stood on the bank of the 
river, on the north side of the ravine, near where the woolen 
factory of Merritt & Coughlen now stands. 

Eleakem, Samuel, Israel, and Laban, were single, and lived 
with their mother. Robert was married, and lived on the 
bluff bank, just north of the east end of the National Road 
bridge. Ede Harding did not come to this place for several 
yt-ars after the rest. 

Robert Harding's second son, Mordecai, was the first white 
<hild born on the Donation, and is still living four miles west 
of town, on the National Road. 

The elder llardings are all dead, except Ede and Samuel. 
Samuel lives at his old homestead, about a mile north-west of 
the Insane Asylum, on Eagle Creek. 

The llardings were all industrious and energetic farmers, 
having the opportunity as they did of selecting the best land 
in the New, and improved their i'arms in fine style. 

Noah, the eldest and only other son of Robert Harding, 
lives about three miles west of the city, and is one of our 
most respectable farmers. 

Jjaban, the son of Ede, owns and lives on one of the best 

Isaac Wilson. 25 

farms in the county, about six miles from town, north of the 
Crawfordsville State lload. 

It was Samuel Harding who gave the writer liis first lesson 
in horsemanship, allowing him to ride one of his plow- 
horses to and from the corn-field, morning, noon and even- 

Samuel and Israel Harding were brothers-in-law as well as 
brothers, having married two sisters, daughters of Jeremiah 
Johnson, and sisters of Jerry , spoken of on another page. 


This good old Samaritan came to this city iji the spring ol" 
1820, and built his double cabin on the nortliwest corner of 
the State House Square, the first house of any kind built on 
the original town plat. He built the first grist mill on Fall 
Creek, in the years 1821-22; he removed his family to his 
iarm near the mill. 

He was one of the most charitable and benevolent men I 
ever knew, and did as much for the poor during the four or 
five years he lived after the first settlement of the place as 
any person here. His house was the place for holding reli- 
gious meetings and preaching as long as he lived in town, as it 
was also the stopping place for preachers of all denominations. 

Mr. Wilson had been married twice. His first wife's chil- 
dren lived for many years on White Lick, about ten miles 
west of town, but those that are yet living have moved further 
west. He had four children by his last wife — the two boys, 
Lorenzo Dow and Wesley, are both dead; his two daughters 
are yet living. Patty is the wife of Samuel J. Patterson, and 
lives on her father's old farm; Elizabeth is the widow of Isaac 
Harris, and lives near her sister. They are the oldest settlers 
living near the town, while the writer claims to be the oldest 
living within the city limits. 

3Ir. Wilson was very kind to my father and mother, and 

•2i] Eiirhj licminiscaiccs. 

assisted us a •rreat deal, which will be kindly remembered by 
the writer as lonj: as he lives. He presented us with a 
cow and calf, ours having died a few days after my fathers 
death. 1 

SPRING OF 1821. 

The sprinu' of 1821 brought out a great many persons from 
tho "sottlemont," for the purpose of raising a "crap," pre- 
paratory to moving their families in the fall. 

The undergrowth of a large field was cleared in common 
by almost the entire population. The south side of the field 
only was fenced (with a brush fence); the north side and east 
and west ends were left open, as there was no stock that 
would be likely to disturb the growing crop. Indeed, the first 
and second years there were very few cattle and hogs, and they 
•Tazed on the south side of the field, where the fence was. 
The few horses were kept in the plow during the w^eek, and 
on Sundays, were taken to the island just across the river 
from the old city cemetery to graze. This island abounded 
with peavinc and other fine pasture. The animals were gen- 
erally "spanceled,"' or hobbled, by tying a rope around the 
forelegs, between the pastern-joint and hoof; and their own- 
ers watched them through the day, to prevent them being 
stolon by the Indians. The poor animals got very little to 
eat except spice boughs through the week. It was a great 
treat to them to have the fine pasture of the island on Sunday. 
I have often heard the settlers remark that their horses 
would do twice move work on ^Monday than any other day of 
the week. 

A great many persons that were here for the purpose of 
raising a crop, were deterred from bringing their families in 
the fall, in conse<juence of the sickness of that summer. For 
a while there was scarcely one person able to hand another a 
drink (»f water. 

Spring 0/ 1821. 27 

During the spring and summer there were many valuable 
and permanent accessions to the population, among which 
were 'Alexander W. llussell, Dr. Samuel G. Mitchell, Dr. Liv- 
ingston Dunlap, Dr. Isaac Coe, our present and venerable 
fellow-citizen James Blake, Daniel Yandes, Samuel Morrow, 
of Georgetown, Kentucky (there being two Samuel Morrows,) 
Calvin Fletcher, Samuel Henderson, Thomas Chinn, Thomas 
Anderson, John Givan, James Givan, James Paxton, and 
many others, who proved to be valuable citizens; also the 
commissioner, Christopher Hari-ison, and surveyor, Alexan- 
der Ralston, to commence the survey of the new capital of 

In February of this year, my father had returned to Ken- 
tucky, and induced a man named Elisha Ilerndon to join 
him in, the purchase of a keel-boat, and load it with flour, 
bacon, whisky, and such articles as might be necessary durino- 
the coming summer, in view of the survey of the town being 
made. The late Col. A; W. llussell, then a very young man, 
was prevailed upon to take charge of the boat as supercargo, 
and bring it from Frankfort, Kentucky, to this place, where 
he arrived about the first of May. The Kentucky and Ohio 
Rivers were descended Avithout any difficulty, the rivers being- 
high. The Wabash and White Rivers were ascended by what 
is called "cord-elling," or tying a rope to a tree some distance 
above the boat, and then pulling the boat up to the point; 
and sometimes poling or pushing the boat by means of 
poles. In this way, they were about six weeks in ascending 
the Wabash and White Rivers. This was the first boat that 
ever ascended the river this far; and the first Fourth of July 
was celebrated (by all who were not too sick) by a trip 
on this boat to Anderson's Spring, which was about one and 
a half miles above the settlement, on the west side of the 
river, near where the Crawfordsville State Road now crosses. 
The cariro of this boat was sold at a uroat loss, owinir to the 

28 Earhj Reminiscences. 

jrreat expense iiicuriod by the hire of hands necessauy to 
brin^' it up the Wabash and White Rivers. 

One or two other keel-boats, also ladened with provisions, 
arrived; their cargoes were in a damaged condition, the flour 
damp and musty; indeed, sweet flour was the exception, and 
damaged flour had to be used, and from this cause some 
thought the most of the sickness of that year arose. 

The hands that were engaged to bring those boats here 
luuud ready employment by the surveying party as axe-men, 
chain-carriers, etc. 

As I have said elsewhere, the historical events will be found 
in the biographical sketches T shall hereafter introduce. 


Was born in Franklin County, Kentucky, on Benson Creek, 
about three miles Irom Frankfort, the capital of the State. 
His father, James Russell, was one of the most respectable 
larmers of that section of country; and was also the fiither of 
Captain John Russell (recently deceased), well known as one 
of the first and most efficient steamboat captains on the Ohio 
and Mississii»})i Rivers. 

Alexander W. Russell, as stated in another sketch, came to 
Indianapolis in May, 1821, being the first white man that had 
ascended White River thus lar in a keel-boat. It was not 
Mr. Russclls intention, i'or some time after he came here, to 
make it his permanent place of residence; but he immediately 
found employment in assisting to lay off the town. After 
that was comjdeted he returned to Kentucky, and during the 
next winter concluded to make this place his residence. At 
that time he was quite young, and with but little experience, 
but had a very popular manner and way of making every per- 
son like him. In addition to this, he was a very fine per- 
former on the "/(/(/A',' which added greatly to his usefulness 
in a new country, as no lo«x rolliiiir, house- raisins; or ouiltiuf 

Alexander Wilson Russell. 29 

could well aiFord to dispense with the services of Aleck Rus- 
sell (for he was not yet known as Major or Colonel, as he 
afterwards was). He was always on hand at Helrey's, on the 
school section, or old Jim McCoy's, near Broad Hippie; and 
no "gathering" of any kind would be complete until he had 
"entered an appearance." The first office, I believe, he was a 
candidate for and elected to, was that of "Major," which title 
he was called by for several years; then after the retirement 
of Mr. Harvey Bates, he was elected second sheriff of the 
county, which office he held tlie constitutional limit (two 
terms), and held the same office several times afterwards. 
He was elected to the office of Militia Colonel, and continued 
as such until the office died out for want of military spirit in 
the people to keep it up. 

Colonel Bussell was commissioned by Grovernor Noah Noble, 
the latter part of May, 1832, to raise three hundred volunteer 
militia, and proceed without delay to the seat of the Black 
Hawk or Indian War of that year, which he did; and the 
very fact that Russell was to be the commander-in-chief in- 
duced many to join that hloody expedition who otherwise 
would have remained at home. This expedition, it will be 
remembered, was composed of the best citizens of this and 
adjoining counties, who were to arm and equip themselves — 
horses, rifles and camp equipage — all at their own expense, 
and report in companies to Colonel Russell as soon as full. 
This was accomplished in a few days, and all ready for march- 
ing orders. Their camp or rendezvous was on the high 
ground just beyond West, and on the right side of Washing- 
ton street. 

Well do I remember the Sunday morning their long train 
of three hundred mounted men, reaching from their encamp- 
ment to the corner of Pennsylvania street (where they turned 
north), wound their way along Washington; the many tears 
tliat were shed by loving wives and disconsolate mothers, as 

no Early RcMiiviscenccs. 

tliey took (as they supposed) a last long look at their friends, 
who were rushing to meet the "bloody Injuns," and offer 
their lives as a sacrifice upon the altar of their country. 
Well do I remember the tin-horn, about six feet in length, 
out of which was blown the most doleful noise that ever 
reached the cars of man; the only wonder to me was that the 
man, instead of blowing such a noise out of the horn, had 
not blown his own brains out. 

Most conspicuous among this self-sacrificing band of pat- 
riots, if not martyrs, was General James P. Drake, Arthur 
St. Clair, Stoughton A. Fletcher, Judge Elisha M. Hunting- 
ton, S. V. B. Xoel, General Robert Hanna, John Tracy, Capt. 
John AVishard, Matthias T. Nowland, Capt. Alexander Wiley, 
llobert McPherson; and last, though by no means least, was 
Colonel llussell himself, and his worthy superior officer, Gov, 

This expedition lasted just three wrecks, and terminated on 
the third of July; on the fourth they were tendered and ac- 
cepted a public dinner given by the citizens at Washington 
Hall. Out of the thirteen named above there are but five 
living, and I have no doubt they often recur to the many 
pleasing and amusing incidents of that campaign of the 
''bloody three hundred." 

Colonel llussell was for many years a successful business 
man and merchant — was a stockholder in and director of 
the Branch Bank, also in Washington Hall. He was ap- 
pointed Postmaster under General Taylor's administration, 
and died while in that office, in 1852. 

There are many anecdotes of the Colonel extant. His 
clerks used to say of him that he would sell a man a pound 
of tobacco, and before the man would leave the counter ask 
him for a chew; such was his habit, he would ask for it when 
he really did not want it. No man ever lived in Marion 

Jerry Johvsoii. 31 

County that enjoyod tlic confidence of the people more than 
he did, and none ever died more regretted. He was of a 
cheerful and hopeful dispo.sition, and his every act showed 
his kindness of heart and devotion to his friends. 

Mr. llussell was an ardent and enthusiastic Whig of the 
old school — a warm personal friend of the late John J. Crit- 
tenden, of Kentucky; indeed, as he Avas of every person to 
whom he was attached. Like many others, he had one fault — 
he never learned how to use the word "No," and consequently 
injured himself by security, although he owned at the time 
of his death considerable property. 

He left several children, all of whom seem to inherit his 
many good qualities of both head and heart. 

As Colonel Russell's name is identified with the history of 
Indianapolis for the first thirty-two years, I shall have occa- 
sion to refer to it often. 


This singular and eccentric individual came from the White 
Water country, with his father's family, in the winter of 
1820-21. They settled on a piece of land they afterwards 
bought adjoining the Donation, on the north side, oj)posite 
"Camp Morton," the present Fair Ground. 

A neighbor of theirs, "Old Billy Reagiu," had two beau- 
tiful daughters (his only children). Miss Rachel, the eldest, 
and Miss Dovey, the younger. Young Jerry was not slow in 
discovering that "Miss Rachel was the purtiest critter his two 
eyes ever seed;" and, said Jerry, "I dctarmincd from the mo- 
ment I first seed her, to have her, or die a-trying." 

Jerry pressed his suit with all the ardor of his youthful 
passion, and soon won the heart and promise of the hand of 
the beautiful Rachel. There were other troubles to be sur- 
mounted of a more formidable nature — the county was not yet 
organized, and no person authorized to issue tlu' necessary 

32 Early Bcminisccvces, 

lo£jal doeuiiient to make the contract between liiin and 
ll.ulu'l Kindiiiu'. and eonsuniniate liis happiness for life. The 
nearest jtoint wlu-ro tlie necessary license could be procured 
was Connersville, about sixty miles distant, and through an 
unbroken wilderness. Another circumstance made Mr. John- 
son's trouble still greater; it was in the spring time of year, 
and his father could not spare him a horse from the plow. 
All these difficulties seemed to nerve rather than depress the 
spirits of 3Ir. Johnson. lie well knew the danger of delay 
in such aflFairs, and fearful if he should wait for a horse, some 
other swain might woo and win the heart of the fair Eachel, 
which he wished to claim as quick as possible for his own, 
with a determination worthy of the cause in which he was 
engaged, he at once set out to "do or die,"' and started on 
foot, and barefoot at that, to make the journey alone. He ac- 
complished his journey, and returned to find other difficulties, 
which if not so laborious, were equally disheartening, and cal- 
culated to make him believe that fate was against him. There 
was no magistrate yet appointed for the county, nor was there 
a minister authorized to tie the legal knot, and make them 
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson; so poor Jerry had to wait six long 
weeks, principally in the month of April, for a preacher to 
come and make him the happiest man in the New Purchase, 
and Kachel, as she was (like the goose that hung high), 
"altogether lovely.'' So ended the first courtship and wed- 
ding in or near Indianapolis. 

There are many anecdotes of Mr. Johnson yet fresh in the 
minds of our old citizens. He was an ardent Whig, and took 
great interest in the elections during the existence of that 

The first returns of a ]*residciiti;il election received in this 
place })y telegraph was in the year 1848, when Generals 
Taylor and Cass were the candidates. He remained in the 
tidegraph oflice until a late hour of the night, to hear the 

Jerry JoJoison. 33 

dii^patchcs rcjid as tliey were .severally received. Addressing 
himself to the writer, "Wall, John, has old Jerry lived to 
see the day when a streak of liirhtning can be made run along 
a clothes line, jist like some 'tarnal wild varmint 'long a worm 
fence, and carry nuse from one eend of the yeartli to the 
tother? What would old Jim jMcCoy say if he wor here to 
see the nuse come in this way? He'd say, ''twiant slow for 
ten stops, boys; let's have something to drink. Landis, bring 
us some peach and honey. Whar's Russell, with his fiddle? 
and we'll have a reg'lar hoe down, so toe ici'll.' " 

In the fall of 1847, there were several thousand persons 
assembled at the Madison depot to witness the arrival of the 
first locomotive and train of cars that ever came to Indian- 
apolis. Mr. Johnson was standing on a pile of lumber, ele- 
vated above the rest of the crowd. As the locomotive hove 
in sight, he cried out, at the top of his voice, '-Look out, 
boys; here she comes, h — 11 ou wheels." As the train stop- 
ped, he approached the locomotive; said he, "Well, well, who 
ever seed such a tarnal critter? It's wus nor anything I ever 
hearn on. Good Lord, John, what's this world gwine to come 

Mr. Johnson died about the year 1852. Ilis wife survived 
him but a short time. His only child, a son, has since died. 
He was an upright, honest man, with many good traits of 
character. Although a rough, uncouth man in his manners, 
he possessed a kind and generous heart, ever ready to do a 
neighbor a kindness or fjivor. His house was always open to 
the unfortunate or wayfaring stranger, without money and 
without price. Such was Jerry Johnson, a fair specimen of 
the hospitality, generosity and frankness that characterized 
the early inhabitants of Indianapolis, when our selfish nature 
and the love of power and place had not assumed the entire 
control of our actions, and money was not the standard by 
which our characters were weiiihed. 

34 Eurlii Jiininn'sccnr-cs. 

There arc many yet liviiiir tliat will attest the correctness 
an«l trutlifulness (if n<»t tlie elegance) of this short sketch of 
.-III ■• old settler. ' 


Was a Pennsylvania Dutchman, and came direct from Cin- j 
cinnati to this place in January, 1821. He brought the first 
merchandise of any kind to the Xew Purchase, or at least to 
this place, and was the first merchant of Indianapolis. 

lie built (with the assistance of the settlers) a double cabin 
south of Pogue's Creek, on the high gronnd, near the south- 
ern terminus of Meridian street. lie was a large, stout man, 
about forty years of age, dark complexion, very black hair 
and eyes, and had the appearance of having been a laboring 
man ; indeed, just such a person as would meet with a hearty 
welcome by all the settlers. He seemed to take hold of what 
was necessary to be done for the common good, with a will 
that showed great energy and industry. He was the first to 
call on the '-newcomers," and tender in behalf of the set- 
tlers such aid and assistance as they could and were able to 
render; was foremost at house-raisings and log-rollings, and 
at all times ready to make any sacrifice to help his neighbors. 

The last time I remember to have seen him alive was about 
the tenth of August, at the raising of my fiither's second 
cabin. Being a stout man, he was always selected to "carry 
up a corner," which required great labor and bodily exertion. 
It was the labor of that day, I am told by Mr. Blake, that 
brought on the sickness that terminated in his death, about 
the eighteenth of the mouth. 

There had been no event up to that time that was so dis- 
heartening to the entile community as the death of Daniel 
{Shaffer. It seemed his loss could not be supplied by the ac- 
cession of a dozen men or families; independent of his great 
services, every one looked upon him as a brother. 

Andrew Byrne. 35 

A few tlays before Shaifer's deatli, lie, with 3Ir. Blake and 
my father, selected the site for the j^rave-yard, and was the 
first person buried in it. His i^rave stands immediately on 
the brow of the hill, near where the road ran until within a 
few years. A rude "sand-stone" marks the head, with liis 
name and date of death engraved on it. A few days before 
my father's death, he requested to be laid by the side of Mr. 
Shaffer, which was done; and there, too, stands a similar 
stone, marked "Matthias R. Nowland, died November 11th, 
1822." Could these two men, -to-day, awake from their sleep 
of death of forty-eight years, what strange sights would meet 
their eyes; could they possibly believe this was the place 
they left? 

Soon after Mr. Shaffer's death, his family, a wife and three 
children (two sons and a daughter), returned to Cincinnati, 
where I saw some of them but a few years since. 

May the march of improvement and enterprise, now so 
busy in the immediate neighborhood of the sacred ground 
where rest the bodies of those two old settlers, never dese- 
crate their graves, or lay unhallowed hands upon them; but 
may they be permitted there to lay, until that day when the 
graves shall be called on to give uj) their dead to appear be- 
fore the Great Judge of the Universe. m *^ryc*c\ryc^ 


Or "Uncle Andy," as he was known generally by both old 
and young, was the first tailor that came to and commenced 
the business in Indianapolis, in March, 1821, although he was 
here at the time the commissioners made the selection for the 
seat of government. 

He was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, in the year 1800, and 
there learned the tailoring business, and was considered a 
"first rate workman." lie was a small, spare-made man, 
black hair and eyes, and looked sharp enough to split a flax- 

3G Earlij Itcminisccnccs. 

seed in two plt'ccs. You would hardly think he would weigh 
fifteen pounds, apothecaries' weight. He thought (especially 
if lie had taken a little "bayou blue") he would weigh several 
ton, and felt as big as a two story house. 

rncle Andy could make a garment to suit the most fasti- 
dious dandy of that early day. He had the whole patronage 
of Indianapolis in that line; if any were disposed to grumble 
at prices, he would tell them they had better take their work 
to another shop. He was generally very independent in busi- 
ness matters, but was a very unobtrusive, quiet man, unless 
excited or irritated. His shop was about four feet square, in 
the corner of my father's cabin. Here the fashionable tailor- 
ing of Indianapolis was first done. One of the coats there 
manufactured would be worthy of Barnum's attention at this 
day. They were only equaled l»y the hats that were gen- 
erally worn with them, and were manufactured by John 
Shunk. an account of which will be found in another sketch. 

Tncle Andy made several trips to and from Kentucky, be- 
i'ore he could make up his mind to make this place his per- 
manent residence. He would sometimes drink a little too 
much, which always rendered him very happy as well as rich 
lor the time being; he imagined he owned Indianapolis by 
the "right of discovery," and all the citizens were his "ten- 
ants at will." 

For several years before his death, which was in April, 
1851, his health was so impaired he was unable to follow his 
business, and made my mother's house his home. 

He now lays in the i'amily portion of the second cemetery, 
by the side of most of his relatives, who had gone before 
him. There are many who will see this short sketch, both 
in the city and throughout the State, who will remember 
'• Ciiclc Andy Byrne." "May he rest in peace." 

Matildas T. NoidancL 37 


Was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, in 1807, and came witli 
the family to this place. lie was a fine English scliolar, hav- 
ing enjoyed the benefit of the tutelage of the Hon. Amos 
Kendall. lie possessed a great deal of native talent, and 
when grown up was a great wag, and enjoyed innocent si)ort, 
as will be seen before this sketch closes. 

At the death of my father he was the only one of the chil- 
dren capable of rendering any rtssistance to my mother in the 
support of the family. 

In the year 1823, he engaged with Messrs. Smith & Bolton, 
proprietors of the "Indianapolis Gazette," the first and only 
paper published here at that time, to learn the printing busi- 
ness, reserving the privilege of boarding at home. At tlic 
end of one year he was sufficiently advanced to earn, and did 
receive, half wages. 

After he had obtained a pretty fair knowledge of the busi- 
ness, he went to Yincennes and took charge of an office, of 
which the Hon. John Ewing was proprietor and editor, often, 
in the absence of the editor, doing his duties. 

After being in Yincennes one year (as he had engaged), he 
was persuaded by a printer to accompany him to New Or- 
leans, which he did. The second day after their arrival there 
he stood upon his comrades coffin to keep it under water 
while the dirt was being thrown on, he having died of yellow 
fever. This silent but impressive admonition caused him to 
return home as quick as possible, and he Ibiiud work with 
Messrs. Douglass & Maguire, in the office of the '"Journal." 

About that time there was a kind of "Jack-legged lawyer" 
(as they were then called) here from iSalvysa, Kentucky, 
named Eccles. This man was thrusting himself before the 
people on all occasions, I'or office. lie talked f<o nuK-h about 

38 Early Reminiscences. 

his former residence, and how he stood there, Mat gave liini 
tlio soubriquet of '"Salvysa." 

!?alvysa was a candidate for the Legishiture, and Governor 
Tiay a candidate for re-election. Mat, with his quick percep- 
tion, soon discovered a fine opening for the enjoyment of his 
peculiar passion, and became a candidate against Salvysa. 
Knowing him to be a very irritable and passionate man, he 
set al)out getting up innocent charires against him. The first 
was that he thought it an insult to the people for a Kentucky 
lawyer, who, in his own State, was thought only fit for and did 
keep a "fancy," to offer himself to the intelligent citi- 
zens of Indiana, especially to those of the capital of the 
State, to reprci^ent them in the Legislature. This had the 
desired effect to irritate Salvysa, who, in a very excited man- 
ner, asked a suspension of opinion until he should have time 
tn disprove -'the vile slander." This gave 3Iat several weeks 
t(» cnjny this charge, for it took some time for Salvysa to send 
to Kentucky to get the necessary certificates; but in due 
time they came. 

Salvysa, with great exultation, displayed a string of certifi- 
cates three feet long to prove he was never known to be in 
any such employment while he lived in Kentucky, and that 
he ( hoped that his opponent would publicly apolo- 
gize for the "vile charge." This Mat did by saying he had 
been mistaken; it was not a horse, but a" Jackass" that Sal- 
vysa had kept in Kentucky, and that he defied the honorable 
Kintuekian, who had so insulted the people of Indiana, to 
(iisprove it. This was only the week before the election, and 
Salvysa knew he could not get a letter to Kentucky and an 
answer in less than three weeks, which -excited him very 
much, and caused him to heap all kinds of imprecations upon 
the head of 3Iat. 

While he had Salvysa going through the mill, he was not 
neglecting (lovernor Tiay. but kept him busy clearing up 

3Iaithias T. Nowland. 39 

charges. One charge against liis Excellency was that, while 
traveling on a steamboat, he registered his name as "J. Brown 
Ray,. Governor of the State of Indiana, and Commander-in- 
Chief of the Army and Navy thereof." Another was that, 
while on the steamboat, a servant placed a spittoon before 
him, and that the Governor told the servant if he did not 
take it away he would spit in it. The third charge was that 
the (Governor, when he pardoned young Bridges at the 
falls of Fall Creek, for the murder of the Indians, com- 
manded young Bridges to stand up, and then addressed him in 
this way: "Sir, do you know in whose presence you stand? "' 
Being answered in the negative, " You are charged by a jury 
of your countrymen with the murder of several innocent In- 
dians. There are but two powers known to the laws of your 
country that can save you I'rom hanging by the neck until 
you are dead. One is God Almighty, the Great Iluler of the 
Universe; the other is James B. Hay — the latter stands before 
you." With these charges he kept his Excellency in hot 
water all the time of the canvass, and would occasionally fol 
low him to adjoining counties. 

Mat was one of the "bloody three hundred," and many 
anecdotes are told of him during that remarkable expedition. 
One of the company to which he belonged was very chival- 
rous, always expressing a wish to meet and encounter hostile 
Indians, and was very free to express the opinion that the 
most of the company were afraid that they would meet an 
enemy. When encamped on the Calumet, a false alarm was 
given that the hostile Indians were advancing upon them, and 
preparations made for action. Mat took particular pains to 
hunt this man up, and found him concealed under the bag- 
gage wagon, and charged it on him, which furnished sport for 
the entire command during the balance of the campaign. 

Mat was the first to learn the "art preservative of all arts" 
in Indianapolis, and the first to learn how to n^ake the 

40 Earbj Rciuinisccnccs. 

fompositioii roller, tlicn so little used by printers. He was a 
tine prossinaii. a correct and quick compositor; in short, knew 
the whole routine of a printinj;- office as well as any person of 
his day. He was a man of great vivacity and humor, ever ready 
for an innocent joke; very quick to detect and resent an in- 
tended insult or injury, and just as quick to forgive and for- 
get it; was liberal and confiding to a fault. 

He brought the first tame pigeons to this place, in 1824, 
which lie carried on horseback from Frankfort, Kentucky, 
and from which sprung, no doubt, the myriads that now swarm 
and fly around the city. 

No man ever cast a line in White lliver that was more suc- 
cessful as an angler. This taste he inherited from his father, 
who was the first to introduce that fascinating amusement 
here, in June, 1820, and caught about the first bass with hook 
an<l line, at the mouth of Fall Creek. 

He was a ready writer, a fair speaker, and possessed the 
faculty of attracting the attention of the people. He had 
his faults, but they were rather of the head than the heart. 
He died suddenly on the fourth of October, 1834, leaving 
many friends, and, I believe, no enemies. 

Thus passed away a generous-hearted young man, that 
might have been one of Indiana s brightest sons. 


At the time of which I am now writing (1821), White 
lliver abounded with fish of great variety and choice quality. 
Its waters were as clear as crystal, and the fish could be seen 
at the bottom in shoals, and a person could almost select from 
the number and capture any one desired. If a minnow 
was cast into the stream, a number of bass would dart at it at 
once. The people from "'in yonder on White AVater," came 
out in the fall when the weather began to get cool, with 
seines; and, provided with salt and barrels, would load their 

i^V.bA, Game and S/.iuiI,:s. 41 

vagons in a short time witli tlic finest — the refuse W(nild be 
eft upon the bank, or g;iven to tlie settlers to feed tlieir ho<is. 

The river abounded witli a fish called car, which was unfit 
"or anything but feeding hogs. John McCormiek, with a gig 
)r spear, would load a canoe with them in a short time, sulfi- 
iient to keep his hogs several days. 

When the river was frozen over, people would supply thera- 
;elves with fish, when they would find them up next to the 
ce, by striking on the ice over them, which would stun them 
mtil a hole could be cut and the fish taken out. After the 
lay's work was over, my father often, with hook and line, 
ivould catch enough to supply our family for several days. 

Fish were not the only game taken from White River at that 
Jay. The more substantial and valuable was the fine fat deer 
fvith which the forest abounded, and most generally taken at 
night in the river. The process was called "fire-hunting." 
In warm weather the deer would wade in the shallow water at 
night, to get the long grass and cool themselves, and could be 
ipproached very near, at least near enough to make sure of 
one of them. The bow of a canoe would be filled with dirt 
in such a way as to prevent any damage to the craft by the 
fire which would be made on it. The motive power would be 
a person in the stern of the canoe, who understood the busi- 
ness and the use of the paddle. The hunter would stand just 
behind the fire and completely hid from the view of the ani- 
mal, which would be almost blinded by the light. In this 
way I have known two persons to take several in one night. 
Just opposite the mouth of Fall Creek was a great resort for 
deer, and they could be found there at almost any time o! the 

When the squirrels were emigrating, which was nearly every 
i'all, they could be taken in the river without trouble. So the 
reader will see that White Kiver furnished a bountiful supply 
of the finest game that was ever set before an epicure. 

-12 Edi'bj RcnunisccHces. 

Nor was this all: the woods were filled with turkeys as 
"slick and fat" as Henry Clay's negroes (see his reply to 
Mondenhall). Although they were rather harder to capture 
tli:in the deer in this way, yet they could always be taken by 
a hunter that understood the business; indeed, I have known 
the hunter to set behind a log and call them within ten steps, 
near enough to select the largest and finest of the number. 

Among the most successful hunters was Mr. Nathaniel Cox, 
who never failed to have his larder and that of his friends 
well stored with the choicest game of the woods. 

In the year 1825, and during the session of the Legisla- 
ture, a fine turkey was shot from the top of Hawkins' Tavern. 
A flock had been scared in the north part of town, two lit 
on the house, one of which was killed. It was no uncommon 
thing, about the years 1840-47, for turkeys to be killed on 
the northern part of the Donation. About this time a bear 
was killed near where Camp Morton now is. 

In 1837, a panther or catamount, measuring nine feet from 
the nose to the tip of its tail, was killed by Zachariah Collins 
on Fall Creek, near Millersville. In earlier years one fre- 
(juented the island opposite the graveyard, and was often 
heard to halloo at night; that deterred some from pasturing 
their horses there on Sundays. 

Another kind of game was plenty, but of no value to the 
white man — the porcupine. The quills with which its back 
was covered were very sharp; and I have often seen the 
mouths of the dogs that caught them tilled full, which gave 
tiiem great pain, and they had to be drawn out with tweezers 
or bullet-moulds. These quills the Indians valued highly, as 
they were useful to them for ornamenting their moccasins and 
other handiwork of the squaws. 

There was another animal that the dogs never failed to let 
it be known when they met with them in the woods; although 
they were not so plenty as the others, a few of them would go 

Fisli^ Game and S/can/cs. 4o 

a great ways, and generally supply the neighborhood with all 
they required, and when one was killed cither by dogs or 
hunter, there was plenty to go around. This animal was 
known by the name of skunk, or generally, by the settlers, 
as pole-cat; and many was the laugh and jest at its expense. 
In the summer of 1821, a young man from Kentucky, named 
Mancher, visited his brother-in-law, Robert Wilmot. While 
in the woods he met one, and thought it a very pretty thing 
to take to Kentucky with him as a pet. He tried to capture 
it alive ; but the first fire from the formidable battery of the 
animal convinced him it was useless to attempt to take him 
to Kentucky, unless he had a larger supply of euu dc Cologne 
on hand than could be purchased in this market. lie con- 
cluded to not cultivate the acquaintance of the pretty crea- 
ture any further, although his friends well knew when he 
returned to the house he had made it. 

Those persons who had not the time or inclination to hunt 
could procure game at almost nominal prices from the In- 
dians. A saddle of venison for twenty-five cents; fine fiit 
turkeys, of the largest kind, for twelve and a half cents, or 
three for a quarter; indeed, the Indians were not very close 
traders, and would take almost anything oiFered them, especi- 
ally if it was paid in trinkets or brass jewelry of any kind. 

Turkeys were often caught by means of pens constructed 
for the purpose — a small log pen, about eight feet in length 
and four wide, made of poles^ something like a cabin, and 
covered tight. A trench was dug about fifteen feet long, and 
leading under the bottom log into the pen. This trench was 
of sufficient depth to admit the largest sized turkey. Corn or 
other grain was scattered along the trench and into the pen. 
The turkey would feed along with his head down until inside 
before he was aware of it. He would never think of going- 
out the way he came in, but seek egress from the top. I have 
known five or six found in a pen at one time. 

44 Early Rc)nudsccnces» 


The only uiic of three commissioners appointed by the 
Legishiture to superintend the laying out and survey of the 
town that appeared and acted. He was from Salem, Washing- 
ton County ; was a man about fifty years of age, and like the 
surveyor (Mr. Ralston), a bachelor. He stopped at the house 
of, and boarded with, my father. He had no more hair on his 
liead than there was in the palm of his hand, and wore a wig. 
I shall never forget the fright he gave my younger brother, 
James. The morning after his arrival at our house, he was 
out at the well, washing, and had his wig oflf. James happened 
to discover the want of hair, and ran to my mother and told 
her "the Indians had scalped the man that came last night," 
This she did not understand fully until she stepped to the 
door and saw his bald head. 

I think he was a Virginian by birth, but had been a resi- 
dent of the territory and State for many years. He was a 
perfect gentleman in his manners and intercourse with his 
su))ordinates in this important work, and won their universal 
confidence and respect. He remained but a short time after 
his official duties were ended, and returned to his home. 

I do not think he ever visited the place but once afterwards; 
that was during the first session of the Legislature, in 1825. 
He lived to a good old age, and died as he had lived, a 


Came to this place in July or August, 1821, a young physi- 
cian, in search of a location to commence the practice of his 
profession, lie was from Cherry Valley, New York, where I 
think he was born and raised. 

\Vlii'ii he first arrived in this place he stopped at the house 
<A' Dr. S.iniiu'l (I. ^litclicll. wlio lived on the southwest corner 

l)i\ l/iciiKjdon JJanlaj). 45 

of Wasliingtoo and Tounesscc Streets, where the State offices 
now stand. The Doctor was not lon<^ licre when he had the 
most indubitable evidence that this was a first-rate place for a 
physician. Not only the whole family with which he stayed 
were taken down with chills and fever, but himself, so bad 
he could neither render assistance to them nor they to him. 
In this situation my father found them one day when he 
called to see what he could do for them; although our own 
family were nearly all sick, Mr. Blake and himself were still 
able to wait on them. My father at once proposed to take 
the Doctor home with him. But how was he going; to get 
him there? queried the Doctor. "Take you on my back," was 
the answer; which he did, something like the squaws carried 
their children or pappooses. 

The Doctor remained an inmate of our house for some time. 
After he recovered, he rendered valuable service, not only to 
our family, but to those that were sick that fall. Physicians 
did not think their duty done when they merely had pre- 
scribed and given the necessary medicine (as now-a-days), 
but to their duties was added that of nurse. • This portion 
the doctors performed well and cheerfully. 

If I were writing only for the eye of those that knew him 
during his long career of usefulness in after years, it would 
be unnecessary to say he stood at the head of his profession. 
He was for many years the leading physician in this place, 
and there were very few doubtful or dangerous cases in which 
he was not consulted by his brothers in the profession. 

He was councilman of his ward in 183-4. and for several 
years after. He was physician for the Deaf and Dumb Asy- 
lum for several years; also, one of the commissioners of the 
Insane Asylum. He was appointed postmaster by President 
Polk in 1845, and held the office until April, 1849. All the 
duties of the different offices he held he discharged with credit 

40 Early Reminiscences. 

to himself and to the entire satif^fiiction of the public, and his 
numerous friends of both political parties. 

Dr. Dunlap was a man of very warm feelings and friend- 
ship, and would go any length to serve a friend; but if his 
disjdeasure was once incurred, and he had reason to believe 
his confidence had been misplaced, he would hardly ever for- 
get it. Although he was not a revengeful man or bore malice, 
he would steer clear of those whom he thought had mistreated 


lie died in 1802, leaving a small family in very comfortable 
^circumstances, with some fine city property. Of his three 
sons but one is now living. Dr. John Dunlap, of this city. 
James, his eldest son, and a portrait painter, died in 1805. 


The first baker, was a low, thick, heavy-set Dutchman, 
nearly as thick as he was long. He was more generally 
known as ''Old Coonrod." He came here in the fall of 1821, 
and built a small cabin on the north bank of the ravine 
(known at that time as the River Styx), just opposite where 
Kingan's pork-house now stands, and about one hundred 
yards above its junction with the river. 

Tills cabin answered ''Coonrod' for a residence as well as a 
})akery, as he was a bachelor and had no family, but his little 
dog "Boas." This dog resembled his owner very much iu 
appearance, short, bow legs, thick, heavy body, and very good- 
natured, except when an Indian wished to enter the dom- 
icil. Coonrod said Boas could smell an Indian a mile; 
neither had the worthy baker a very exalted opinion of them, 
;ind preferred losing their custom to endangering his scalp. 
His oven was built on the east side of the cabin. Four posts 
were planted in the ground, about five feet apart, and formed 
a S(|iiare. On the posts was made a platform of puncheons; 

Conrad Bras^scU. 47 

on the punelieons was dirt sufficient to prevent tliern from 
taking fire. The dirt AVas plastered to form the bottom of the 
oven. Then a kind of frame-work was built (the shape and 
size he wanted the oven), plastered and left a sufficient time 
to dry; a fire was kindled on the inside that burnt out the 
frame-work and left the oven. In this oven was baked the 
first rusk and ginger-cake in Indianapolis. 

He was patronized by nearly all the inhabitants, his 
best customers being the travelers seeking locations in 
the New Purchase. Our family sent every time he baked/ 
(which was twice a week), to get some of his nice waruT' 
rusk; but a little circumstance occurred that lost him one 
customer. Coonrod was very much afflicted with sores on his 
arms; indeed, his whole appearance was rather hoiUoiis for a 

As usual, Saturday evening, I was sent to Coonrod's for the 
quarter's worth of rusk. I found the old man in rather a 
despondent mood; I saw in a moment that something was the 
matter; if Boas had died he could not have looked more wo- 
ful. When I asked him for the rusk, "Oh, Johnny," said he, 
"I will have none for Sunday. Last Wednesday, when I 
baked, mixing the dough hurt me so much I have scarcely 
been free of pain since. The flour got into the sores on my 
arms, and I was not able to-day to mix the dough for the 
rusk," This simple but truthful tale was sufficient to induce 
our family to forego the use of his rusks from that time. 
Other customers found out the same thing, and he closed 
business for want of patronage. When, like the Moor of 
Venice, he found his occupation gone, he sought a home in 
other parts. 

How different the first bakery of Indianapolis to those of 
the present day; how different from the last that has com- 
menced business in this city — the establishment of G. W. 

48 Earhj iuinlnisccnccs. 

Caldwell k Co., whore that beautiful and delicious aerated 
bread is manufactured, in any ((nantities the demand may re- 
(|uire, from one to teu thousand loaves per day, and witlout 
tlie hand coming in contact with the dry flour or the dough. 
The flour is taken from the barrel with a shovel, and thrown 
into a sieve moved by machinery. This sieve w^ill prevent the 
smallest particle of dirt passing through it. The flour passes 
into a reservoir or kncader, where it is mixed, and from the 
kneader passes into the pans for baking, and is never touched 
liy the liand, until handling for delivery to customers. A 
visit to this establi^fhrnent would induce the use of this kind 
of bread ; if for no other reason, for cleanliness alone. You 
will see the utter impossibility of the smallest house fly pass- 
ing through the sieve, to say nothing of the filthy cockroach 
often found in the middle of the loaf of bread manufactured 
in the ordinary way. I care not how careful and cleanly the 
baker or housewife may be, there will sometimes dirt or in- 
sects get mixed with the dough and not be discovered until it 
is baked. 

In this establishment are two kneaders, one of which will 
mix a barrel, the other one and a half barrels of flour at a 
time; and in a few minutes from the time the flour is thrown 
into the sieve it is ready to bake. 

In speaking of the above establishment, I do not wish to 
disparage the other fine bakeries of the city, in many ef 
which can be found as fine articles as in any similar bakeries 
in the United States. 

In the houses of Xickum k Parrott, the Cincinnati Bakery, 
and Ball, of Illinois street, will be found every variety of 
cake; and they are in striking contrast with the first bakeries 
of Indianapolis. 

The crackers of 31rs. Thompson have a reputation unsur- 
}iassed, if equaled, anywhere. 

John Shunk. 49 


John Shunk was the first man that ever attempted in this 
place to manufacture a "wild varmint" into something, and 
call it a "hat." 

He built a log cabin on the bank of the river south of the 
ravine and woolen-mill, and near where Kingan's pork-house 
is now located. 

His cabin was about fifteen by eighteen feet square, which 
served the energetic proprietor as parlor, kitchen, chamber, 
hall and shop. The kettle used for boiling or stewing the 
various kinds of skins into hats was placed on a stone furnace 
in the middle of the room, or dirt floor. 

His bed stood in the northeast corner. The bedstead was 
made by boring two holes in the third log from the floor of 
the house, about seven feet apart. In these holes were 
driven two poles about four feet in length. The other ends 
of the poles were fastened to other poles about the same 
length, and, standing upright, thus formed the framework of 
the bedstead. 

On this frame was laid lengthwise other poles, sufficient in 
number and size to form the bottom. On this structure was 
a bed-tick (the original color I can't tell) filled with a combi- 
nation of leaves and straw. The "kivering" consisted of a 
very dirty horse or saddle-blanket, and a few dilapidated deer 
and other kinds of skins. On this couch Mr. Shunk could 
repose his weary limbs, and at the same time watch and feel 
the increase of his stock of fleas. 

In the southwest corner of the cabin was the fireplace, 
which was made by building a stone wall on each side of the 
corner, about four feet high, to protect the logs from the fire. 
It was of a two-angle shape. A hole in the roof of the 
cabin was left for the escape of smoke. This, of course, 
was the culinary part of the establishment, where the potatoes 

50 Early lieminisccnscs. 

were roasted, the venisou broiled on the coals, wild tur- 
keys stewed, fish fried, and spicewood tea boiled. Mr. 
Shiink (being a widower) was his own cook, and a cook is 
generally supposed to select such articles of diet and cook 
them as best suits his own taste. 

In the northwest corner of the house was a broad table, 
about four feet high and six in length. Over this table, and 
suspended by a rope (fastened to the rib-pole above), hung a 
thin"- that looked somethinir in shape like the bow of a base 
viol, only much larger. On this bow was a large eat gut 
string, which he would pull in such a way that it would 
strike and cut to pieces the combination of hair and fur. 

The southeast, and last, corner of the cabin was used as a 
reeeptacle or depot for miscellaneous articles. 

Mr. Shunk required his customers to furnish their own 
coon. lie would receive them in animate or inanimate con- 
dition, as best suited the convenience of the customer, and 
was not slow in manufacturing them into something that 
looked more like the old-fashioned hollow-log bee-gums of 
that day than they would like one of Mr. Bamberger's fash- 
ionable hats of the present. 

On one occasion Luke Walpole had employed Mr. Shunk 
to njake him a hat. Whether Mr. W. furnished the coon or 
not I am not aware. However, the hat was finished and 
taken to the customer. On close examination Mr. W. 
thought the animal not quite dead, and wished to know of the 
worthy hatter if he thought there would be any danger of 
the hat disturbing his chickens. 

In closing this description of the first hatter's shop in In- 
dianapolis, I must say something of the close of the worthy 
proprietor. lie was a large, fleshy man, would weigh over 
two hundred and twenty-five pounds, was very fond of grog, 
and ol'ten indulged to such an extent as to render him inca- 
pable of taking care of himself. 

John Shunk, 51 

Hg was found one morning in front of his furnace, com- 
pletely baked brown. The skin was cracked open, and the 
grease or fat was oozing out. 

All that could be done to alleviate his suffering (as recov- 
ery was impossible) was done by his neighbors and the citi- 
zens, but he was beyond the reach of human aid, and suffered 
a few days and closed his earthly as well as his liatatorial 
career. He was a relative of the late Governor Shunk, of 
Pennsylvania, and, I believe, otherwise highly connected in 
that State. 

I will now pass from the first hatter-shop of Indianapolis, 
1821, to that of Herman Bamberger, of 1870. A few days 
since I called in at Mr. B.'s, and was invited by the gentle- 
manly and polite proprietor to look through his extensive es- 
tablishment. Althoucrh I had heard and read a creat deal 
about his as well as other establishments of the kind in the 
city, I was entirely unprepared to see so large and extensive an 
assortment as he keeps on hand. 

Although Mr. Bamberger is not an ''old settler " in the 
strict senses of the word, or in the sense I generally use the 
term, yet he has been here sufficiently long, and his establish- 
ment is one of that kind I wish to use to draw a comparison 
between the first hatter of Indianapolis and those of the pres- 
ent day. 

I can hardly realize that even the forty-eight years that 
have elapsed since the existence of the shop of Avhich I have 
been writing could have brought such a change. 

In Mr. B.'s store is found every conceivable shape, form, 
pattern, style and fashion that could be thought of, with per- 
haps the exception of John Shunk's style. 

I am told by many of his patrons he never suffers a cus 
tomer to leave his establishment dissatisfied in either price or 

Indeed, the very appearance of the store indicates success; 

52 Early Reminiscences. 

and success means fair dealing. I am told he has the bulk of 
the (lerman trade, both in this and adjoining counties. 

If a large stock, polite and gentlemanly bearing and ac- 
commodating disposition are requisite in trade, all those qual- 
ities will be found in Herman Bamberger. But I am digres- 
sin" from my purpose to show the difference between the 
first hatter-shop of Indianapolis and those of the present. 
Could it be possible for John Shunk to awake from his 
forty-eight years' sleep on the banks of White River, and 
step into one of these fine establishments, he would hardly 
take it to be a hatter s shoj), or that he, while in the flesh, was 
anything else than a hatter. 


Was a native of Delaware, born at Dover, the capital, in the 
year 1787. When quite young, with the family of his father, 
he emigrated to Chillicothe, Ohio, where he remained until 
he had attained his majority. He then went to Frankfort, 
Kentucky, and shortly after his arrival there was married to 
Miss Elizabeth Byrne, in after years as well, if not more gen- 
erally, known through Indiana than any lady in it. Who 
that ever visited Indianapolis, from its beginning to 1856, 
has not heard of 3Irs. Nowland? 

In Frankfort he engaged in active business, and was quite 
successful during his sojourn there, about fourteen years, 
and until his removal to this place, the "New Purchase," in 
1820. He was a quiet, unobtrusive man, content to attend to 
his own business and let others do the same; was about the 
only person at the first settlement of this place who was not 
a candidate for office, although he was appointed by Mr. 
Bates, the sheriff, judge of the first election in the new 
county, that took place in 1822, the first and only office he 
ever held. In February he returned to Kentucky and 
induced several families to emigrate and help swell the 

Matthias R. Nowland. 53 

population. In the meantime the two young men he had 
brought here were busy in clearing the common field, and 
preparing for a crop the coming season. 

After his return from Kentucky he engaged in making 
sugar in an old Indian sugar camp at the southeast end of 
Virginia avenue. Many of the sugar-trees that he opened 
are yet standing. He and myself were there mostly alone, 
especially at night. That was a very fine season for the man- 
ufacture of sugar, the season lasting until April, which 
was very unusual, in after years. In the short time he at- 
tended to this business, he realized over six hundred pounds 
of beautiful sugar and a considerable quantity of the finest 
molasses ; 

"W^hich showed be rightly understood 

The art, and iu this Western wood 

He scooped the primal sugar-trough, 

And presided at the *' stirring of." 

He knew every labor, every joy, 

When quite alone with his rustic boy. 

He looked through winter, when March would bring 

The sugar-making and the spring." 

The events of the summer of 1821 are alreadv recorded in 
another chapter. 

The agent of the State had set apart three outlots, of about 
three acres each, to sell to such persons as wished to make 
brick. One of these, situated at what was the then east end of 
Washington street, between East and Liberty and Washing- 
ton and Market, he purchased ; and here, in 1822, he made 
the first kiln of brick that was made in the new purchase, 
the debris of which may be seen at this time. Working 
very hard, and taking cold at this brickyard, caused the dis- 
ease that terminated his life, on the 11th of November, 1822. 

However much the stroke of death may be expected, it 
never comes without a violent shock to our feelings. I well 

54 Early Reminiscences. 

" His farewell look, with Christian hope 

Slione as purely, calmly bright. 
Alas, when it vanished the night came down, 
And my poor lone heart no more might own 

A father's guiding light." 

Before his death he had selected a warm, sunny knoll for 
his future resting place, and received the promise that the 
hand of affection should often render kind offices to his mem- 
ory, and for thirty-two years was the pledge faithfully kept 
by the companion of his bosom. 

He had purchased a number of lots at the sale, and had 
paid the first and second payments, which had to be forfeited 
in consequence of his death. 

The expense incurred in the making of brick, and the loss 
on the keel-boat and produce speculation, had exhausted his 
means, which left his family in a quite helpless condition. Bnt 
thanks to the old citizens who so generously aided us in our 
time of need, among whom were Calvin Fletcher, Jacob Landis, 
Isaac Wilson, Daniel Yandes, James Blake, and many others.* 

Although they, too, were poor, their countenance and ad- 
vice to a family in our situation and without experience was 
valuable, and was remembered by my mother so long as she 



Fifty years ago, I suppose, there was no fjtmily so well 
known throughout the entire west as that of the Whetzel 
family, consisting of five brothers, Martin, George, Lewis, 
Jacob and John. They, or most of them, were born in 
tlie Shenandoah valley, but with their father, John Whet- 
zel, emigrated to Ohio County, Virginia, in the year 17G9, 
and settled about twelve miles from Wheelins;, and near 
where the Clay monument, which was erected by their cousin, 
Moses Shepherd, now stands,. It was here the Whetzels 
called home (although their home proper was the woods, or 
on the track of marauding bands of Indians) ; this, at least, 

The Whclzel Family. 55 

was the residence of their families, and their place of meet- 
ing and rendezvous, where were planned their expeditions 
against the hostile savage. The different expeditions of 
Lewis, the third brother, and Jacob, the fourth, are pretty 
generally known to the reading world. 

It is with Jacob, who settled on White Water River in the 
year 1811, and his son Cyrus, now living near this city, I 
shall confine what I have to say. During the time the white 
inhabitants of that part of Virginia, now known as Ohio 
County, were living in a fort, \iear Wheeling, a turkey was 
heard to call every morning, about daylight, across a ravine, 
and about two hundred yards from the fort. One of the men 
went out one morning and never returned, which created a 
suspicion in the mind of Mr. Whetzel that the turkey might 
be something else. He knew of a fissure in the rocks near 
where the sound of the turkey-call proceeded, and the next 
night informed his comrades that he was going to solve the 
turkey mystery. Accordingly in the night he secreted him- 
self in this place, and awaited patiently the coming of day, 
as well as the call of the turkey. Just about daylight he 
heard the call, which proceeded from a tree-top just above 
where he was concealed, and within shooting distance. lie 
patiently awaited the time when it should be sufficiently light 
for him to make no mistake of the kind of game he was seek- 
ing. After waiting about half an hour he plainly saw the 
form of a tall, well-proportioned Indian raise from his scat 
in the fork of the tree, and watching closely the path that 
led from the fort. Just at this time Mr. AVhetzel took a sure 
and deadly aim, and down came the turkey in the shape of a 
large and athletic Indian, which he scalped as quickly as pos- 
sible, and returned to the fort, lest the crack of his trusty 
rifle might bring the comrades of said turkey. Although 
this was not the last turkey in the woods, it had the effect to 
stop their gobbling for a while. 

5G Earhj Reminiscences. 

After Ohio County was organized he was elected a magis- 
trate, and then, in turn, as was the custom and law that the 
oldest magistrate should be sheriflF and collector of the reve- 
nue, he became sheriff, and, through dishonest deputies and 
other causes, became involved, and, eventually, quite poor. 
He resolved, in the year 1808, to emigrate farther west, and 
settled in Boone County, Kentucky, where he resided until 
1811. when he settled near where Laurel, Franklin County, 
now is, living there until he settled near the Bluffs of White 

Id the year 1818 he visited the old Delaware chief, Ander- 
son, at his village on White Iliver, where Andersontown, Mad- 
ison County, now stands, for the purpose of obtaining permis- 
sion to cut a trace from his residence on White Water to the 
Bluffs of White Iliver, which was granted. Accordingly he 
and his son Cyrus, with some hired hands, cut the trace that 
summer. The next spring, 1819, he and his son came out 
and raised a crop, moving his fiimily in the fall to the farm 
his son now lives on. This trace commenced, as I said be- 
fore, at his residence in Franklin County, crossed Flat Bock 
about seven miles below Bushville, Blue Biver about four 
miles above Shelbyville, and where a village called Marion 
now stands; and Sugar Creek near Boggstown; thence near 
where Greenwood now stands, to the Bluffs. This was the 
main thoroughfare for some time, to and from the settlement. 

On this trace and near where it crossed Flat Bock, an In- 
dian, named "Big Buffalo," was butchered by his comrades, 
in the sumnjcr of 1819. "Buffalo" had, twelve moons be- 
lore, killed an Indian called "Old Solomon." The usual 
time of twelve moons was given him, to either pay one hun- 
dred dollars, one hundred buckskins, or forfeit his life. The 
band were encamped at this place when the time expired, and 
he was accordingly butchered and left lying in the trace, and 
was buried by some whites who found him. 

The Whetzel Family, 57 

In the fall of 1819 a party of Indians visited Mr, ^V. at 
his house, one of whom was a very large and powerful man, 
named "Nosey," from the fact he had lost a part of his nose. 
This Indian proposed shooting at a mark with Mr. W.'s son, 
Cyrus. The young man beat him very bad; but soon discov- 
ering that the Indian was very angry, and disposed to be 
quarrelsome about it, young Whetzel proposed to shoot again, 
letting the Indian beat him as badly as he had previously 
beaten the Indian, which had the effect of pacifying him, at 
least for a while. The Indians then left Mr. W.'s cabin, and 
had gone only about two miles, when "Nosey" killed one of 
his comrades. It was supposed the anger engendered by 
being beaten by Mr. W.'s sou had not yet cooled. "Nosey" 
was also given the usual twelve moons to pay the price of 
life, which he failed to do, and in the fall of 1820 (about 
the time the writer of this came to Indianapolis, for I re- 
member that the cruel manner of the butchery was talked 
about), "Nosey" was killed by the friends of the man he 
had murdered. At the expiration of the twelve moons he 
gave himself up. He was taken to a tree, his arms drawn up 
to a limb, his legs were parted, and ankles fastened to stakes 
driven in the ground, and then he was stabbed under the 
arms and in the groin with a butcher-knife, and tortured in 
other ways until life was extinct. 

In the spring of 1820, the body of a man was found about 
one and a half miles above the Bluifs, and a man by the 
name of Ladd was suspected of the murder. He was ar- 
rested by a set of desperate men, who had banded together, 
styling themselves regulators; but he was soon released, as 
there was not a shadow of evidence against him. He then 
sued the men for false imprisonment, and they were taken to 
Connersvillc for trial. This was the first case of litigation 
in the New Purchase, and a very expensive one it proved, as 
the case occupied some time, resulting finally in the plaintift" 

58 Earhj Jlcminiscences. 

irettin;: nominal damages. This man, no doubt, was mur- 
dered by a desperate and notorious Delaware, named Hiram 
Lewis, as the Indian was in possession of his horse, saddle 
and bridle, pistol, and a red morocco pocket-book, containing 
some money on the Vincennes Steam-Mill Company. 

In the Indianapolis "Journal," of the third of July, 1827, I 
find the death of Jacob Whetzel announced as taking place 
on the second instant. The "Journal" says: 

"Captain Whetzel emigrated to the western part of Vir- 
ginia when but a very small boy, and took a very active part 
in all the Indian wars in the west of Pennsylvania, Virginia, 
and what is now the State of Ohio, and carried many testi- 
monials of his bravery, in the numerous wounds he received 
in the various combats with the savage foe. 

" While in the array, under Generals Harrison and St. Clair, 
and several other commanders, he performed very laborious 
duties, and rendered signal service as a spy, which duties he 
preferred, and for which he was most admirably adapted by 
his former life." 

He left a numerous and respectable family to mourn their 
loss. The writer, although young at the time of Mr. Whet- 
zcls death, remembers him very distinctly as a square-built, 
broad-shouldered, muscular and powerful man, five feet 
eleven inches in height, about two hundred and fifty pounds 
in weight, without any surplus flesh, but a fair proportion for 
such a frame. lie died at the age of sixty-three. 

Of his seven children, five daughters and two sons, but 
two are living ; his eldest son, Cyrus, and youngest daughter, 
Kniily, now the wife of one of our most respected citizens, 
William H. Pinny, Esq. Cyrus Whetzel was born on the 
first day of December, ISOU, in Ohio County, Alrginia, and 
is now one of the few living that belonged to the eighteenth 
century. Before age began to tell on him he was as straight 
as an arrow, full six feet in height, hair as black as the raven, 

The Whdzcl Family. 59 

with an eye equally black aud as keen as a hawk. As has 
been said before, he came to where he now resides (near Wa- 
verly, in Morgan County) with his father, in the spring of 
1819, and has resided there, on his father's old farm, ever 
since. He has been very prosperous and has accumulated a 
fortune, not by speculation of any kind, but by industry and 
economy; in fact he literally dug it out of the ground, and 
now owns several of the finest cultivated as well as larfrest 
farms in the White Kiver Valley. 

I visited him a few days since at his farm, as has been my 
wont to do for near fifty years, and was shown in one pasture 
about fifty bullocks ready for the butcher's block, the lightest 
of which would weigh at least twelve hundred pounds ; in- 
deed, I do not think there is a better stocked farm, for its 
number of acres (about five hundred), in the State of Indi- 
ana, if in the entire great West. 

He is a man of very general information, warm and devoted 
in his friendship, has represented his county in the lower 
branch of the legislature, was a good and efficient member, 
was an old line whig, and most sincerely devoted to the party 
and its measures, and, with the most of his associates in pol- 
itics, when that party was disbanded, went into the Kepublican 
ranks, and during the rebellion was a strong Union man, and 
advocated the prosecution of the war with great warmth and 
zeal. The only one of his household capable of bearing 
arms was his son-in-law, the husband of his only daughter, 
Wm. N. McKenzie, who volunteered the first year, and served 
three years; was taken prisoner, and a portion of the time 
served in Libby Prison, at Richmond, Virginia. There is no 
man more respected among his numerous friends and acijuain- 
tanccs than Cyrus Whetzel. He is well known in this city, 
which has been his principal trading-place since the first log 
cabin trading-house was established here, in the winter of 
1821. He is a man of great firmness aud determination, and 

GO Early Iteminiscences. 

no person can mistake the ground he occupies on any subject, 
after conversing with hira five minutes. He advocates his 
opinions with great earnestness and fervor, and is never at a 
loss for hiniruage to make himself distinctly understood. 

His hospitality is as generally and favorably known as that 
of any man in the State; his house has been the stopping- 
place for public men and politicians of all parties, in their 
electioneering tours, for near fifty years, all of whom have 
received kind and courteous treatment at his hands, and from 
his estimable lady, now deceased. From his door no weary 
traveler was ever turned away hungry, no beggar empty- 
handed, no friend without an invitation to "call again." 

As he is one of the links that connect the past with the 
present generation, so is he of many pleasing reminiscences 
connecting the past with the present. And when he shall be 
taken from among the living the country will have lost one 
of its best men, this city one of its most liberal patrons, his 
children a kind and indulgent father, and the writer, if liv- 
ing, a warm personal friend. 


When I come to write of this venerable and good man, I 
am carried back near half a century to my childhood's tender 
years, when he, as my Sabbath-school teacher, first taught 
nie to lisp the A, B, C, at the school first organized and kept 
in Caleb Scudder's cabinet-shop, on the south side of the 
State House Square, in the year 1823. Mr. B. came to this 
j.lace on the 25th day of July, 1821. A single man, but 
rather on the bachelor order, he soon became a great jrallant 
of. and a favorite with, the young ladies and belles of the 
day. The late Calvin Fletcher told many anecdotes of his 
early gallantry. 

He was an inmate of my father's family soon after his arri- 
val here. The first year of his residence nearly every person 

James Blake, 61 

was down with fever and ague. Indeed, in many families 
there was hardly one able to hand another a drink of water. 
It was a time just such a man as Mr. B. was useful, although 
shaking nearly every other day with ague himself. lie 
would employ the well days in gathering the new corn and 
grating it on a horse-radish grater into meal to make mush 
for the convalescent. Indeed, our family, as well as others, 
would have suffered for food had it not been for his kind 
offices in this way, not only because the mush made from the 
new corn was more palatable, but the old could not be got, 
as there were no mills nearer than Good Landers, on the 
Whitewater River. 

Mr. Blake has ever been hand in hand with Mr. James 
M. Hay, Dr. Isaac Cox, and others, in all the benevolent and 
charitable associations of the day, as well as such public en- 
terprises as would be beneficial and calculated to add to the 
prosperity of the place. He was never ostentatious in his 
acts of charity, many of which were unknown to all save 
himself and the recipient. 

I have known him to provide for the wife and family of an 
intemperate man (who had deserted them) for some time, un- 
til they were able to take care of and provide for themselves. 
This circumstance had slipped my memory entirely until re- 
minded of it a few days since by the man himself. 

During the time there was so much sickness in the sum- 
mer of 1821, my ftither was suflfering for water, and no one 
able to draw a bucket. He crept to the door of the cabin 
and saw a man passing. He beckoned to him and requested 
him to draw a bucket of water. "Where is your friend 
Blake," the man inquired. "He, too, was taken sick this 
morning," was the answer. "What on earth are the people 
to do now?" said the man. "God had spared him to take care 
of the people; they would now suffer as they never had 

G2 Early Bcminiaccnccs. 

lie acted upon the precepts of the Bible, and did good 
and dispensed his blessings as he went along. The first 
house of worship I ever attended iu this place he was there, 
a young man in the pride and strength of manhood, and iu 
tlie last (at this writing), where the Rev. Mr. Hammond was 
officiating, I saw him with his religious zeal unabated, al- 
tliough the frosts of forty-eight additional winters have 
fallen heavily upon and whitened his head. It was a silent 
but impressive rebuke to the writer of this humble tribute to 
his many virtues. It will require no flowers strewn upon his 
grave to make his memory fresh in the minds of his many 
friends, who will rather bedew it with their tears. 

The late Calvin Fletcher told an anecdote of him. Mr. B. 
had employed a young lady, of the upper ten of that day, to 
make him a pair of pantaloons. They were finished and 
sent home. On examination they were found all right, ex- 
cept that the waistband buttons were sewed on the wrong 
side, lie showed them to Mr. Fletcher, who told him the 
young lady intended he should wear them as " Paddy from 
Cork " did his coat, i. c, buttoned up behind. 

Mr. Blake was one of the company that built the first 
steam mill in this place. He brought the first piano and the 
first pleasure carriage. It was a two-horse barouche, with 
leather springs hung over steel, Avhich he drove through from 
Baltimore with his bride the same year. He was the Presi- 
dent of the first State Board of Agriculture, orc:anized in 
1835. Was a partner with. Samuel Henderson in Wash- 
ington Hall. He afterwards founded Blakesburg, in Putnam 
County. He established a factory for clarifying genseng, 
buying the article in different parts of the State, and ship- 
ping it cast in large quantities. He was one of the fore- 
most in establishing the present rolling-mill. He was the 
first to propose the celebration of the Fourth of July by 
the different Sunday schools, and was the marshal of the 

James Blake. G3 

different processions as long as tlie custom was kept up — 
thirty years. Indeed, there are but few enterprises, either 
public or private, that he is not identified with. 

Although he has had a goodly share of earthly prosperity 
he has never been avaricious, but used the means God placed 
in his hands to accomplish good, thereby laying up treasure 
where thieves could not reach it, nor moth nor rust destroy. 

"Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride, 
And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side ; 
But in his duty, prompt at every call, 
He watched, and wept, and prayed for all." 

Mr. Blake's personal appearance would attract attention 
quickly in any crowd. He is of a large, well-turned frame, 
showing that in his younger days he possessed great physical 
strength ; very straight and erect in his carriage, with a step 
as elastic as most men of thirty years of age, and, although 
now in his eightieth year, is a man that would not be taken 
for over sixty. 

Mr. Blake is a man of great couraiie and resolution, and 
does what he considers his duty without regard to conse- 
quences to himself. 

"Virtue is bold and goodness never fearful." 

Such is James Blake, one of the first settlers of Indian- 


The reader will readily perceive that the first and " old 
settlers" of Indianapolis were generally men of distinction, 
if we should judge by the handle or title prefixed to their 
names, especially in the military line. There were none of 
the lower grades — but few lcs3 than a major; colonels and 
generals we had without number, although military honors 
were not so cheap as at the present day. 

G4 Early Rcminisccenes. 

Major Carter was a major iu every sense of the word. He 
was what John Givcns calls a forty-gallon Baptist. He was 
more conscientious about every other vice than that of drink- 
injjj, yet he did not indulge in the use of the ardent to excess 
liinisolf. He thought it much more excusable in a person to 
take a 'wcedrap of the critter" now and then than it 
would be to dance, sing wordly songs, or play tlie fiddle. He 
had a perl'ect horror of fiddles, and thought the devil incar- 
nate lay in the bowels of one. Under no circumstances 
would he allow one about his house. 

Major Carter was about the first to start a tavern in Indi- 
anapolis. He built a double cabin on Berry's Trace early in 
1821, and called it a tavern. This cabin lay between Wash- 
ington and 3Iarket streets, just east of Illinois. Subse- 
(juently he built the "Kosebush," just in front of the log 
house on Washington street. The "Bosebush" was a one 
and a half story frame building, and, at that day, made a very 
imposing appearance. While at the " Bosebush " my father 
and mother took tea with the worthy Major and his lady. 
The old lady always had an apology ready for any deficiency 
of variety on the table. On this occasion she "was out of 
all kind of gardin sass except ham and eggs," and the only 
fruit she ((uild get "was dried pumpkins." 

3Ir. Carter did not remain long at the " Bosebush," but 
built a third tavern on Washington street, opposite the Court 
House. Here he was very unfortunate. About two weeks 
after the l^egislature convened, in January, 1825, this house 
burned. It took fire from a keg of ashes, about nine o'clock 
at night, and w'as burned entirely to the ground. 

In the spring he purchased a two-story frame house of 
Jacob B. Crumbaugh, that stood on Washington street, west 
of the canal. This house he moved along Washington street 
to the site of the burnt building. The removal of this build- 
ing occupied several weeks, and caused more stumps and logs 

Major Thomas Carter. G5 

to be burned and removed from the street than any tliinj; that 
had yet happened. In tliis last house the Major continued 
some time, and seemed to prosper. This house in after years 
was, perhaps, the scene of more ludicrous incidents than any 
other house in town. After Carter left it, it was kept by per- 
sons of both high and low degree, among whom were John 
Hays, Jordan Vigus, Peter Newland, Pruett, and General Ptob- 
ert Hanna. It was at this house in which was held the first 
mechanics' ball in Indianapolis, and which created so much 
dissatisfaction at that time. There were no police officers 
then to keep down the uproarious, and on this occasion the 
dissatisfied parties behaved in a manner very detrimental to 
the furniture of the dining-room and glassware of the bar. 
At this house, when kept by Carter, the first theatrical per- 
formance took place in this city, an account of which I wrote 
some years since, and which was published in several papers 
in the State. In order to show Mr. Carter's aversion to 
fiddles I will copy it at the close of this chapter. While 
Governor Ray kept this house he had painted on one side of 
the sign "Travelers' Ray House, Cheap." On the reverse 
was " Traveler's Ray House, Cash." It was while keeping 
this house the Governor made the prediction that there were 
then persons living who would see the State checkered with 
railroads in all directions. It was in this house he proposed 
a plan for building a railroad from Charleston, South Caro- 
lina, to the Northern lakes. It was from this house eman- 
ated many projects of State policy that were ridiculed at the 
time, but which were afterwards adopted and successfully 
carried out. It was then thought they were the production 
of a disorganized and demented brain. Although not more 
than thirty-five years have elapsed since these predictions 
were made, our State is truly checkered over with railroads, 
with eleven centering into this city, and direct railroad com- 
munication from Charleston, South Carolina, with the Northern 

00 Early Reminiscences. 

lakes, althouirli the Governor's plan was not carried out 
in the construction of the roads. One of his plans was to 
cut the tops of the trees off in the valleys to bring them on a 
level with the hills, and run the track over them to save 
jrradinc: and excavation. 

AVhile Mr. Carter kept this house, and " during the session 
of the Legislature, in the winter of 1825 to 1826, a strolling 
]. layer by the name of Crampton visited this place for the 
jiurpose of giving the denizens of the Iloosier metropolis the 
benefit of his entertainments of legerdemain, hocus pocus, etc. 

" As there was no public hall or room (as now) suitable 
for such an entertainment, he applied to the proprietor of the 
lar<rest tavern in the place for the use of his dining-room. 

"Mr. Carter had no kind of objection to his having his 
dining-room for the purpose. But the shows that usually 
came into the '■settlements' always had music on the fiddle, 
and he could not think of sufi*ering the fiddle to be played in 
his house. 

"Mr. Crampton assured him that he (Crampton) was as 
much opposed to the fiddle as Carter could possibly be, and 
that the only music he required or ever tolerated was the 
viutin, and under no circumstance should a fiddle be intro- 
duced at the performance. With this understanding Carter 
consented to let him have the room, 

"Accordingly due notice was given that upon a certain 
evening Monsieur Crampton, just from Paris, would give a 
series of entertainments in the dinin2;-room of Carter's Hotel. 

" Nothing more was wanting to congregate the entire pop- 
ulation of Indianapolis within the walls of that room, about 
twenty by thirty feet in size. 

"All things being ready the doors were opened, whereupon 
a well-known character named ' Bill Bagwell' struck up the 
tunc of 'Leather Breeches,' upon the fiddle. 

"But suddenly the entertainment, that but a few moments 


Major Thomas Carter, G7 

before bid so fair to go oflF without molestation, was brought 
to a dead halt. Mr. Carter appeared, cane in hand, and de- 
manded that the music should be stopped ; that it was the 
understanding between him and Monsieur Crampton that 
there should be no music except on the violin. 

"Monsieur Crampton assured Mr. Carter that he was mis- 
taken, as this was a violin he had brought with him from 

"'No,' says Carter, 'I can't be mistaken, for Bill Bagwell 
can't play on anything else than u. fiddle.'' 

"Bill, speaking, says, 'Major, just bring in a bottle of 
Bayou Blue and see how I'll play on it. You are mistaken, 
Major; this is nothing but a violin.^ 

"Major Carter for a while seemed inexorable, but finally 
consented that, inasmuch as the congregation had assembled, 
he would permit the performance to go on with the fiddle if 
they would play nothing but Psalm tunes. 'But,' says Car- 
ter, 'Bill Bagwell can't play Psalm tunes; he never heard 
one, much less played one.' 

" Here he was again at fault, for Bill assured him he was 
raised at the 'Great Crossing,'- in Kentucky, and that he then 
and there was a member in good standing in the Baptist 
Church, and learned many Psalm tunes, and as an evidence of 
the truth of his assertions struck up the tune of 'Jesus my 
all to Heaven is gone.' 

"This, to Carter, was a clincher, and made all right. So 
the performance went on, and was closed with 'Yankee 
Doodle' from the orchestra^ by request. All seemed well 
pleased with the entertainment, and none more so than Mr. 
Carter himself, especially with that part of it under the im- 
mediate charge of Professor Bau'well. 

"Major Carter has lonir since been G:athered to his fathers, 
and died in full hope of blessed reunion with his friends 

08 Early Reminiscences. 

" The last the writer remembers to have seen of Bill Bag- 
well was on a coal boat at the Louisville wharf, playing the 


There was none that knew from whence he came, or whither 
he went ; but he did go, and all were glad. What manner of 
man he was it was hard to tell ; had not his size precluded 
the possibility, he might have been taken for a cross between 
a baboon and a skunk. 

He had a cabin in Washington street, in front of Masonic 
Hall; he was a bricklayer by trade, but for three reasons did 
not follow the business. The first reason was, there was no 
brick to lay; second, if there had been he was too lazy to lay 
them; the third was, no person would employ him. His bu- 
siness was conceded to be foraging upon the neighboring 
smoke-houses, corn-cribs, and hen-roosts at night, and im- 
posing upon the credulity of those that did not know him, in 
day time. 

In his composition the animal rather predominated, as will 
be demonstrated by the following incident: Mr. Landis had 
received a barrel of fresh apple butter; Reynolds wished to 
make a bargain for what he could eat; Mr. Landis, knowing 
his customer, had none to sell him in that way; but a person 
present bet him the price of a gallon that he could not eat it 
at one sitting. Cale readily accepted the bet, and won it, 
costing the gentleman-about two dollars, and, very nearly, 
the county the price of a coffin. Suffice it to say, for a while 
the smoke-houses could be left unlocked, the corn-cribs were 
unmolested, and the chickens roosted without interruption. 

Cale wore a coat made from a saddle blanket, which he 
had colored with walnut hulls, giving it the color of a buf- 
lalo, this gave him the sobri(iuct of 'Buffalo Cale," as there 
were two persons by the name of Caleb. 

Caleb lieynolds. GO 

A man called "Big Bijc Smith," compelled him to get 
down on "all fours," he then fastened a bridle to his liead, 
and put a saddle on his back, mounting it as he would a 
horse, and in this manner forced lieynolds to carry him into 
the grocery. Smith then addressed Mr. Landis in this style: 
"Landlord, take this brute animal of mine, put him in some 
deseparate apartment, give him some junutrals suitable for 
his frail body, and I will absurd you in the morning." Smith 
then took Cale by the back of the neck and seat of his pan- 
taloons and threw him out of a window into the back yard. 
Cale used to say it did not require any of the letters of the 
alj^habet to spell his name; he spelled it in this way: 

" A frog ran down the hill with his tail up. 
Spelled Caleb : 
Two whiskey jugs and funnels, 
Spelled Reynolds." 

Shortly after this rough treatment of Smith's he was caught 
in a steel trap that was placed in the inside of a corn-crib, 
near where he was in the habit of thrusting his hand for the 
corn. The trap was chained inside to a log, and he was com- 
pelled to stand there with his hand in the trap until released 
by the owner of the corn, who found him about daylight 
standing by the crib. "Good morning Mr. Reynolds," said 
he, "wont you walk in?" "My dear friend," said Cale, "do 
let me go, and for the sake of my family say nothing about 
it." This led him to believe that the best thing he could do 
for Indianapolis and himself would be to emigrate, which he 
did without calling to bid his friends good bye. It is said 
that history repeats itself; if so, that portion of the history 
of Indianapolis, in which " Buifalo Cale" figured, I hope 
will be deferred until after my day. 

This Abijah Smith was a very large, fleshy man, and very 
dissipated; always ready to attend log-rollings and houso- 
raisings for the sake of the whisky. In the spring of 182'J 

70 Early Reminiscences. 

he was at a log-rolling at old Mr. Kyle's, near Broad Eipple. 
After the day's work was over, he lay down by one of the 
burning piles of logs, and was found next morning, com- 
pletely roasted. He was yet alive though insensible, and 
suffered a few days, when he died a most horrible death. 
This was the second man that had been burned to death 
while in a state of intoxication. 

Two boys, sons of Lisniund Basey and Samuel S. Booker, 
had been burned to death, by their clothes taking fire, while 
j)laying around burning log piles. 


Or, Uncle Billy Townsend, as called by both young and old, \ 
was from Guilford County, North Carolina. How near he 
lived to Beard's hatter-shop, I am unable to tell, although I 
know that shop was in Guilford County. L^ncle Billy arrived 
in Wayne County in the fall of 1820, left his family there, 
came out to this place and built a cabin preparatory to mov- 
ing out in the spring. It was in this cabin we lived the first 
few days of our residence in this place. 

Mr. Townsend was a short, thick, rotund man, pretty near 
as round as a pumpkin ; he was a quaker, dressing in their 
style, and used their dialect. He was a very clever man, and 
an obliging neighbor, but sometimes very irritable, and could 
be as contrary as any person if he wished to, and often let 
his passion get the advantage of the mildness of the Quaker. ] 

As has been said in another chapter. Uncle Billy's cabin 
happened to be where Kentucky avenue was afterward laid 
out, and the Agent of State, General John Carr, intimated 
to Mr. Townsend that he would have to remove the house; 
for the necessity of this Mr. T. could see no immediate cause, j 
as it was all in the woods, and could not be used. This irri- 
tated the old man, and he got very angry with the agent 
while talking the matter over; he jerked ofi" his coat and 

Billy Townsend. 71 

violently threw it to the ground, saying, "Lay there Quaker, 
until I administer to the 'gineral' a gentle chastisement." 
This the general politely declined to receive at his hands, 
and the matter was finally compromised. While living in 
this cabin one of Mr. Townsend's children died, and was 
buried close to the house; but after the graveyard was 
located, it was taken up and reburied there. This was the 
first white person that died in this place (not Mrs. Maxwell, 
as stated in Logan's history). This child died in May, 1821, 
from the effects of a burn she received while living in Wayne 

Mr. Townsend then bought land on Lick Creek, four miles 
south of town, improved a farm, and built a mill; but subse- 
quently, say about 1825, sold out and went to White Lick, 
in Hendricks County, where he also built a mill, and for 
many years furnished a good portion of the flour that was 
consumed in this place. 

He afterward represented Hendricks County in the Legis- 
lature, and was the author and projector of the celebrated 
financial measure, known as "Billy Townsend's Bank Bill." 
This bill provided that the State Treasurer should find out 
the exact indebtedness of every adult citizen of the State, 
and cause a corresponding amount of bank paper to be issued 
and pay over to each individual an amount equivalent to his 
liabilities. Unfortunately for the success of the scheme, 
there was no means provided by this bill for the ultimate 
redemption of the paper. The discussion of the merits and 
demerits of this bill occupied several nights, toward the close 
of the session, when the members wished a little sport. The 
bill eventually passed both houses (as Mr. Townsend thought), 
while the bill was under consideration in the Senate. A reso- 
lution was off'ered and passed, admitting Mr. Townsend to a 
seat, and as a member of the Senate during the pending of 
his bill. A committee was appointed to conduct him to a 
seat, as Senator, pro tern. 

^z Early Reminiscences. 


After the passage of the bill in the Senate (which was late 
at ni«;ht), Mr. Townseiid, witli others, was appointed by the 
chair as a committee to wait on the Governor and request his 
signature, that it might become a law. Mr. Townsend (with 
tears of joy in his eyes) presented the bill to Governor Whit- 
comb for his signature, and was not willing to take any denial 
or excuse until the Governor had to tell him he was the 
victim of a hoax. 

Mr. Townsend died about fifteen years since (1854), at a 
good old age, leaving a large and respectable family living on 
AVhite Lick, in Ileudrick's County, all of whom are prosper- 
ous farmers and in good circumstances ; and if this should 
meet their eye, I hope they will take no offence at my noting 
the part their father took in the early history of Indianapolis. 
With all his peculiarities he was an honest man and a good 
citizen, which is more than I could say of the person whose 
name stands at the head of the preceding chapter. 


Father of the well-known detective of that name, came to 
this place about the year 1821. He was a Kentuckian in 
every sense of the word, and was from near the "Stamping 
(Jround," in Scott County, a section of Kentucky noted for its 
"sharp-shooting rifles," fine horses, and pretty women. Mr. 
D. provided himself with one of each of the former before he 
left " Old Keutuck," but neglected to secure one of the latter. 
However, that deficiency he supplied soon after his arrival 
here, in the person of Miss Sally Wood, daughter of David 
Wood, Ks(j. 

It was the custom of the country at the time he was mar- 
ried, to dance two or three days after a wedding, but Mr. 
Duvall's father-in-law belonged to a church the members of 
which had a "holy horror" of anything like dancing, but 
would not feel willing to consign a fellow mortal to endless 

Joseph Pry or D avail. 73 

punishment, if lie would indulge in a "glass of old Bour- 
bon ;" so I believe the dancing was dispensed with in this 

Mr. D. was a Clay AVhig of the old school. With "latch- 
string outside the door," he was always glad to have his numer- 
ous friends call on him, and was ever ready to entertain them 
with an account of a Kentucky horse-race, a squirrell-hunt, a 
chew of tobacco, or a glass of whisky ; or, if about the time of 
day, with a good, old-fashioned Kentucky dinner. He was 
constable of Center township from time immemorial. Their 
jurisdiction then was co-extensive with the county. It has 
been said of him that he would ride to the extreme limits of 
the county to see a person on official business, have his 
horse fed, take dinner, and return without mentioninjr 
business to his friend, lest in so doing he might injure his 
feelings. Like many others I have written of in this work, 
he was hardly ever at a loss for an anecdote to suit every 
occasion; if he should be, it would not require much mental 
labor to get up one to order. 

There are many anecdotes of him extant, too numer- 
ous to mention in this short sketch. On the fourth of 
July, 1838 (I think it was), he invited several of his friends 
to a squirrel barbecue (the writer among the rest), which he 
had prepared in the creek-bottom just south of his house. 
After the solids were disposed of and the fluids began "flying 
fast and furious," and some of his invited guests had not yet 
entered an appearance, Mr. D. took a few bottles of "extracts " 
and hid them in a hollow log for the use of his absent friends, 
should they arrive. They not coming, he forgot them. His 
son tells me he found the bottles, their contents in a good 
state of preservation, long after his father's death. 

Mr. Duvall lived on the Madison road, about what was, in 
his day, two miles from town, as a person would not be con- 
sidered in town until he reached Washington street. His 

74 Early Reminiscences. 

house was situated on the north or bluff bank of Pleasant 


One evening, as he was returning home from town, a tree 
fell across the horse on which he was seated, killing the horse 
instantly, smashing the saddle, and injuring Mr. Duvall se- 
verely, from which he never recovered, although he lived sev- 
eral years afterwards. 

Mr. Duvall owned considerable property, and had he lived 
it would have made him quite wealthy. He was a man gen- 
erally willing to take the world as he found it, and valued 
the friendships of his numerous acquaintances more than 
their money. He was a plain, off-hand man, free from in- 
trigue or dissimulation, and a generous and kind neighbor. 
His death was regretted by all. 


Came from Franklin County, Indiana, to this place late in 
the year 1821 ; and, like nearly all that came from that section 
at that time, he had a great thirst for office, and was willing* 
to serve the people in any capacity they might wish. Like 
General Hanna, he only desired to be useful, and was a can- 
didate for, and elected, magistrate. w 
While 3Ir. B. was a candidate, Mr. Nathaniel Cox wishing 
to vote understandingly, and for those he considered qualified? 
in order to satisfy himself on this point, propounded this 
question for the (would-be) esquire to answer : Said 
Cox, "Should you be elected, Mr. Basye, and a person 
was brought before you charged with burglary, and proved 
guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt, what would you do with 
him?" Basye studied a few moments, raised his spectacles, 
looked wise (as he was), and said: "I would fine him one 
hundred dollars and compel him to marry the woman." This 
answer was satisfactory to Mr. Cox, as he generally gave 
Squire Basye what business he had in after j^oars. The Squire 

lAsmond Basye. 75 

almost Invariably decided in favor of the plaintiff, which had a 
tendency to secure him nearly the entire business of the 
village ; and when defendants in former cases became plaintiffs 
in others, they always patronized 'Squire Basye, for two rea- 
sons : first, they were sure of success; and second, they would 
know the exact amount of judgment before the trial, which 
was considered in those days an advantage to a person bring- 
ing a suit. There were a great many amusing trials had 
before 'Squire Basye, that are yet fresh in my mind ; but as 
the mention of them might not be agreeable to some of the 
parties yet living, I refrain from publishing them. 

While the late Calvin Fletcher was prosecuting attorney, a 
person was arrested and taken before Mr. Basye, charged 
with stealing, and proved guilty. After hearing the evidence, 
the 'Squire examined the law and found the penalty to be 
not more than three, nor less than one year, in the peniten- 
tiary, and was about to pass sentence on the criminal for the 
shortest time, when he was informed by Mr. Fletcher that he 
could only recognize him to appear at court. The 'Squire 
thought the law very plain, and that he should at once be 
sent to the State Prison, thereby saving cost to the county 
•nd time to the criminal. 

After the death of the 'Squire's wife, he, with the balance 
of his family, removed to Tippecanoe County, and settled just 
west of Lafayette, where he was shortly after married to quite 
a young woman, he being over sixty years of age. In due 
time after this marriage, Mrs. Basye presented her venerable 
husband with a pair of boys. The old gentleman was not 
slow in informing his old friend, Daniel Yandes, of his good 
fortune, and renewal of his youth, and that he had named his 
sons "Daniel Yandes Basye" and " Calvin Fletcher Basye." 
Mr. Yandes laid the facts before Mr. Fletcher, who proposed 
-that they should jointly enter eighty acres of land in the 
name, and for the benefit of, the young Basyes, which was 

7G Early Reminiscences. 

accordingly done; but the youngsters died in a few months, 
and the require, being the sole heir and legatee, became 
owner of the eighty acres of land so generously bestowed on 
his children by Messrs. Yaudes and Fletcher. 


Mr. Yandes came to Indianapolis early in the spring of 
1821. He was originally from Fayette County, Pennsylva- 
Dia, where he was raised, but had stopped a short time at 
Connersville, in this State, before making this place his resi- 

Mr. Y. was of German parentage, and was about the first 
citizen of this place who spoke that language. He is a large, 
stout man, and in his younger days there were but few his 
equal in strength. It was said, however, he did not like 
to waste that strength at house-raisings or log-rollings, but 
reserved it for other purposes more beneficial to the com- 

Mr. Yandes, in connection with the late John Wilkins, es- 
tablished the first tan-yard in the place, in 1822, and has 
been interested in that business with several difi'erent partners 
pretty nearly ever since. H 

He has engaged in many business enterprises, and helped 
many young men in starting business in this as well as many 
other places; and there are many living, both here and else- 
where, who owe their success in life and business to Daniel 

He has aided in building mills, and some of the largest 
manufacturing establishments, both in and adjoining the 
city ; and was ever ready with money and countenance to aid 
in anything calculated to be beneficial to the county and 
city. He contributed liberally toward building the first 
church that was erected in Indianapolis — the First Pres- 
b}t«'ri;in, a frame building erected in' 1828 — as he lias 

Smon Yandes. 77 

to many different cliurches since. He was ever liberal to 
all benevolent and charitable institutions, contributing his 
portion for the general good. He is now, at his advanced age, 
connected with one of the largest engine and boiler manu- 
facturing establishments in the city, and nearly every day 
visits it. He lost his wife, the companion of his youth, 
several years since, and has contented himself with gliding 
down the stream of time alone, thus far. I have known Mr. 
Yandes now nearly fifty years, and do not remember to 
have ever seen him show any anger whatever. He is a plain, 
common-sense man, and a Christian, without any ostentatious 
show of self-righteousness or bigotry. Although he has lived 
out his three-scorce years and ten, he seems by his universal 
good humor and fondness for an innocent joke, to be willing 
to enter upon another lease of life for the same lengthy term, 
should it please the Allwise Creator to grant it to him. 

*' He lives long, who lives well." 


Were I to omit speaking of m.y old friend and school-mate, 
I would do great injustice to my own feelings and to the re- 
spect I entertain for him. Some forty-two years ago he was 
my antagonist in a pitched and warmly contested battle, 
caused by a question of territorial jurisdiction and the owner- 
ship of a head of cabbage. He then did not seem so long for 
this world as he does now, although four decades of time have 
passed away. This was the first and last difficulty we 
ever had, and was settled by a pro teiii. magistrate in the 
presence of our parents. He studied law, and being diligent 
at his books and endowed with many good qualities, made a 
fair lawyer, and for several years successfully practiced his 
profession. He is at present, and has been for some years, 
engaged with J. H. McKernan in the real estate business, 
having quit the practice of law. 

78 Early lUmimscmccs. 

Mr. Yandes (like John Ewing, of Knox) has never met 
with a lady to whose keeping he felt willing to intrust himself, 
and is yet outside the pale of matrimony. He is plain and 
unpretending in his manners, regular and temperate in his 
habits, and has a pleasant smile and kind word for all with 
whom he meets, and his integrity is unimpeachable. Such is 
the eldest son of Daniel Yandes, a citizen that came to this 
city in the spring of 1821, when the subject of this sketch 
was but a child. 


Mr. Wilkins was from Hillsborough, Ohio. He came to 
this place in the summer of 1821, while the town was being 
laid out, and, in connection with Mr. Daniel l^andes, estab- 
lished the first tan yard, in 1822. During his long residence 
Mr. "NVilkins was one of our most respected citizens; he was 
an honest man and an exemplary Christian. When he first 
came to this place, and for several years after, he was a single 
man ; but finally returned to Ohio, and there married. 

He brought the first one-horse carriage to this place, the 
wood-work of which he made himself. The bed of this carriage 
was set on wood springs running between the axles. There 
was no surplus iron or fancy work about it, although it was 
the most fashionable carriage in the place, and the young 
ladies would take it as a great compliment to be invited to 
take a ride in Johnny Wilkins' carriage. After Mr. Wilkins 
returned from Ohio with his bride, his carriage was not in 
so much demand, especially by the young ladies. 

He was a plain, unpretending man, always disposed to 
attend to his own business in preference to that of his neigh- 
bor's. He died in 18G8, without a stru£ru;le or a murmur, 
and his life went out like the flame of a candle that had 
burned until there was nothing left. Are we not led to 
believe by the manner of his death that there is something in 

Henry BraJley. 79 

being a true Christian^ and that God has his own way of call- 
ing his chosen people home. As he lived so he died, without 
giving trouble to any one. May his children emulate the 
example of their father. 


I have in a former sketch alluded to the fact that Mr. 
Bradley came to this place with my father's family, in the fall 
of 1820. After remaining here a few weeks, he returned to 
his home, near Frankfort, in Franklin County, Kentucky, and 
moved out in the spring. Mr. Bradley, in politics, was an 
old line Whig; in religion, a "hard shell" Baptist. He was 
for many years a magistrate of this township, and made a 
good and efficient officer. After his official career he was a 
successful merchant, and partner of Stoughton A. Fletcher 
in that business. Several years since he removed to his farm 
in Johnson county, on Sugar creek, and where the railroad 
and Madison State road cross that stream. He has now been 
dead about eleven years. 

Mr. B. had but two children; James, the eldest, born in 
Kentucky, and William, born in this place. The latter died 
ere he had reached his majority. James, with his mother, 
still resides on their farm ; they own some fine city property 
in this place. James is quite wealthy. He is a director of, 
and large stock-holder in, the Jefi"ersouville and Indianapolis 
Railroad Company; he was for some time President of, and 
stockholder in, the Jeffersonville bank. I have seen but little 
of him since boyhood, but am told he is possessed of fine 
business qualifications. He was fond of good cheer when a 
bo}^, and, to judge from his looks, is yet; and, like all other 
successful men, of course, smart. 

80 Early Bemimscenses. 


Twenty-five years ago, no name was more familiar to the 
people of Indianapolis than that which stands at the head of 
this sketch. Althou<j;h he is yet living, he is not so well 
known to most of the present citizens of the city. 

3Ir. Wilson is a native of Pennsylvania, and raised, I 
think, near Union town. He came to this place in the sum- 
mer of 1S21, a young man, and some few years afterward was 
married to the eldest daughter of Obadiah Harris, who is one 
of our prominent and respectable farmers. Mr. Wilson was 
one of the proprietors of the establishment known as the 
Bayou Mills and Distillery, situated on the west side of 
AVhite lliver, just beyond the old City Cemetery. It was at 
this distillery he manufactured to an alarming extent that 
delectable article of beverage, "Bayou Blue," which was sold 
to and drank by his thirsty customers a few days before it was 
a week old. This article has been referred to in another 

Mr. Wilson was among the first litigants before Esquire 
Basye, and has been a liberal patron to the legal profession 
since that time. He has been a very energetic man, and has 
been engaged from time to time in various kinds of business ; 
such as farming, merchandizing, contractor on the National 
road, the difierent railroads, built bridges, dug canals ; indeed, 
did all kinds of public work ; and, for a while, was a banker in 
connection with John Woolly. 

Mr. Wilson resembles a lame tailor that lived here in early 
times, who, with one leg shorter than the other, used to say 
he had more ups and downs than any other person in the 
place. So has Mr. W. He has been considered rich several 
times, and as often otherichc. Whether he is now othericise 
or not I have no means of knowing; but one thing I do 
know, I should never select him again to settle an estate that 
I was interested in. Time has fell heavily upon his head. 

Caleb ScudJer. 81 

He looks as though he had lived out his three-score and ten 
years, and would ere long be called on to appear and render 
an account of his stewardship on earth. I hope he will be 
prepared and have his lamp trimmed. If he is not, I hope 
he Lord will be lenient with him. 


Was a native of New Jersey, but when quite young came to 
Dayton, Ohio. He was there married, and soon after re- 
moved to this place in the summer of 1821. He was the first 
cabinet-maker, and made the first coffin that summer that was 
made in the place. His shop was on the south side of the 
State House Square, and his dwelling opposite, across Wash- 
ington street. His shop was a place of worship for some 
time, and there the first Sunday-school was established, in 

Mr. S. was a Presbyterian, and for some years acted as 
clerk to the diff'erent ministers in giving out the hymn and 
starting the tune. He was afterward elected magistrate, and 
served as such for several years. He made a good and 
efficient officer, and his decisions were generally sustained by 
the higher court when appeals were taken, which was very 
seldom. While he was justice of the peace it became neces- 
sary for him to render a decision in a trivial matter against 
Joseph Buckhart, a blacksmith. Buckhart became very 
much enraged at the 'Squire, and as he left the office, re- 
marked it should cost Mr. S. more than it had him. The 
'Squire looked upon it as a mere passionate threat, and that 
he would soon get over it. 

A few mornings afterwards Mr. S. missed his carriage out 
of his stable. It was found at the high banks of the river, 
with every spoke sawed out of the wheels and other portions 
thrown in the river. Mr. Scudder was satisfied in his own 
mind who the guilty parties were, but took no steps to have 

82 Early licmlniscences. 

them arrested, fearful that other and more serious injury 
miirht be done him or his property. 

This cireumstauec weighed heavily upon his mind and 
caused him some unhappy reflections, not that he thought 
he had done wrong, or rendered an erroneous decision, but 
that he should have made such an enemy in trying to render 
impartial justice. 

Mr. Scudder was for several years connected with 3Ir. 
"William Ilannaman, in the drug business and oil mill. Had 
lie lived to the time of the advent of Professor Black into 
this city, he might have had his voice improved considerably, 
as he used the nasal organ more than is fashionable at the 
present time; but I have no doubt he is where all voices are 
made perfect, and that he belongs to the great choir above. 

He was a very peaceable and quiet man, and died without 
an enemy on earth, unless it might be the one above referred 
to (if living). He was strictly an honest and upright man, 
and died, deeply regretted by all who knew him, about the 
year 18CG, leaving a wife, who has since deceased. He never 
had any children, but had raised several orphans that loved 
him as a father. Such was Caleb Scudder, the first cabinet- 
maker of Indianapolis. 


Was the first person that ever painted a sign in this place. 
He came to Indianapolis in the fall of 1821, from Tennessee. 
At this time there was not a sign of any kind in the town. 
In addition to the joy felt at having gained a new citizen and 
neighbor, all were glad to have one qualified to announce 
their names and business in glowing letters. The first to order 
a sign from the painter was Caleb Scudder, cabinet maker. 
This Mr. Kooker painted on white ground with fiery red letters, 
and when finished it read, "Kalop Skodder, Kabbinet Maker." 
3Ir. K. soon received an order from Mr. Carter for a sian 

Samuel S. Booker. 83 

for the "Rosebush,'' and one from Mr. Hawkins for the Eagle 
tavern. It was said that Mr. Hawkins' sign was that of a 
turkey, with a surname attached. 

He afterwards painted one for Major Belles. The design 
was "General Lafayette in full uniform." This was a fine 
opportunity for the painter to show his skill in portrait paint- 
ing. When he commenced, it was his intention to paint it 
full size, but after finishing the head and body he found there 
was not room for the legs full length; so he left out the sec- 
tion between the knee and ancle, and attached the feet to the 
knee joint, which gave the General the appearance of a very 
short legged man. This sign stood on the Michigan road, six 
miles south east of town, for many years. 

In justice to Mr. R., I must say he improved very much in 
his profession in after years. He painted the portrait of the 
writer, which was complimentary to the subject and a great 
credit to the artist. Charlie Campbell thinks it was one of 
the most striking likenesses he ever saw. What became of it 
I do not know, but have no doubt it could be found in some 
of the New York art galleries. 

He painted a sign for a man keeping tavern on the National 
road. The man had ordered a lion, full size, as the design. 
When it was finished he thought the good-natured painter 
had misunderstood him, and instead of painting a lion, as he 
wished, had painted a prairie wolf. Mr. Rooker had some 
trouble to convince the man that this was a bona fide African 
lion, and not a wolf. Mrs. Rooker was very indignant that 
the gentleman did not properly appreciate her husband's supe- 
rior skill in painting. She thought that Sammy could paint 
as good a lion as any other person. 

" The painter thought of his growing fame, 
And the work that should bring him an endless name." 

There are many yet living who remember Mr. Hooker's own 
sign, that stood on the north-east corner of Washington and 

84 Early Reminiscences. 

Illinois streets. It read, <' Samuel S. Rooker, House and Sine 
Tainter." It is proper to say that, although sign painting 
was not Mr. Rooker's forte, he was a good house painter, and 
generally rendered satisfaction to his customers in that line- 
Neither was he the only person that had not mastered Webster 
in the spelling book. A prominent merchant used to spell 
tobacco, "tobaker;" and bacon, "bakin." 

Mr. Rooker yet lives in a neighboring town, but does not 
follow his profession as sign painter. He was an honest, 
upriirht man, an obliiring neighbor and a irood citizen. 


With his family, arrived here on the 9th of October, 1821. 
He bought a lot on Market street, near the canal, and lived 
there a few years. The house is yet standing, and is now the 
oldest in the city. It was a hewed log house, but has since 
been weather-boarded. He "svas a carpenter by trade, and 
about the first to follow the business. Soon after his arrival 
here he was elected colonel of the militia, which position he 
hold until his death. In 1823 and 1824 he was elected to the 
Legislature, and was at Corydon during the last session in that 
})lace, and served the first session that it convened in Indian- 

In connection with John E. Baker, he was contractor for 
building the present old Court House, where the Legislature 
sat from 1825 to 183G; also, the Supreme and L^nited States 
Courts. While building this house his partner (Mr. Baker), 
when intoxicated, rolled from the top of the cupola to the 
ground, striking nearly all the scaffolding in his descent, and 
to the surprise of all got up and walked home, a more sober 
if not a wiser man than he was a few moments before. 

Colonel Paxton, after the Court House was finished, engaged 
ill merchandizing and other pursuits until his death in the 
spring of 1829. No citizen enjoyed the respect and esteem 

Jimmy Kittleman. 85 

of his neighbors to a greater extent than he did. He died, 
leaving a widow (but no children), who yet resides among us. 
She has lived to see this place, which she found with a half- 
dozen log cabins, a city of sixty thousand inhabitants. 

Mrs. P. was one of the first to help organize a Methodist 
Church in this city. Her husband donated a lot to the Wesley 
Chapel congregation on Circle street for a parsonage. She 
was a member of that congregation when John AV. Foudray, 
Billy Bay, Lismund Basye, Francis and William McLaughlin, 
and Jimmy Kittleman were among its members, and John 
Strange, James Armstrong, Edwin Bay, James Havens, Calvin 
W. Buter, and Allen Wiley, were its preachers; all of whom 
have passed away. 

Mrs. Paxton has yet in her possession a chair presented to 
her by the mother of the writer, when they first commenced 
housekeeping in this place, over forty-eight years ago. This 
was one of a set of split-bottomed chairs presented to my 
father by the keeper of the Kentucky Penitentiary, when we 
started to move to the New Purchase, in October, 1820. This 
chair Mrs. P. has kept for her own personal use ever since, 
and has had it re-bottomed but once. 

She has a sister, the wife of William Hannaman, Esq., who 
resides in the city. There is an older sister now visiting her, 
that I remember to have seen at her house before the death 
of her husband, over forty years ago. 


This good old man came here at an early date, say 1821 or 
1822. He was a shoemaker by trade, and lived many years 
on the south-east corner of Market and East streets. He was 
an honest but simple man, an ardent and enthusiastic Metho- 
dist, and most of his earthly joy consisted in meeting his 
brothers and sisters of the church in class-meeting or love- 
feast. He took great comfort in relating his experience and 

8G Early Reminiscences. 

conversion to religion, and how it was brought about, the 
temptations and trials he was exposed to, and how the devil 
first appeared to him, and the oflFers he made to him. 

lie was attending to his father's sheep-fold late in the 
evening, he said, when the devil appeared to him and made 
offers equal to those he had made our Savior when on the 
mountain: the sheep and cattle upon a thousand hills, if he 
would worship him. He said he knew the "old sarpent" the 
moment he saw him ; so he leaned his head upon a big 
"wether," and prayed the Lord to give him strength to resist 
the tempter. AVheu he arose the devil had gone. He often 
appeared to him afterwards and renewed his offer, with the 
addition that he could go to all the dances and play the fiddle 
as much as he pleased. But he had as often sought the same 
old "wether" to lay his head against and pray for grace, and 
he as often found it. " Brethren,-" said he, " I feel this morning 
that I would rather be here and hear Sister Lydia Haws sing, 
• We'll all meet tosrether in the moruinjr,' than to have all 
the sheep and cattle the old sinner had." 

On one occasion, at a love-feast, the old man said "his sun 
had been behind a cloud for some days, and that he had not 
been in close communion with the Savior, but thanked God 
that this morning his sky was once more clear, and he could 
read 'his title clear to mansions in the skies,' and that he was 
able to raise his Ebenezer, and that the cloud had passed 
away, and that he was beyond the reach of the devil and all 
his cattle." On another occasion the old gentleman got very 
happy in class-meeting. He looked toward the roof of the 
house, extended his arms in an imploring manner, and 
said, "Do, Lord, come right down! Come right through the 
roof, right now! Do, Lord! Never mind the shingles, but 
come right down. Lord!" At this point the old man began 
flapping his arms up and down as wings, as if starting to meet 
tlic Savior. When he got in one of these ways the only 

Billy Bay. 87 

remedy was to sing him down, and Sister Haws contributed a 
good portion, which generally elicited from the old man, after 
he became quieted, a "God bless Sister Haws." 

In the sincerity and earnestness of Brother Kittleman there 
was none to doubt, but the old gentleman's zeal was some- 
times greater than his common sense. He left this place 
many years since and removed to the far West, and no doubt 
is prepared to meet Sister Haws "in the morning," and "on 
the other side of Jordan." 


Was the counterpart of Jimmy Kittleman, and his associate 
and brother in the first Methodist Church organized in Indi- 
anapolis. He was equally zealous in the good work, and never 
let anything keep him from the "Divine sanctuary." He too, 
like Brother Kittleman, had been very much tempted by the 
"old cloven-foot sarpent," and several times came very near 
yielding. Brother Bay was a man about five feet ten inches 
in height, rather spare made, a bald head, and about fifty 
years of age. He wore the old-style Methodist dress, round 
breasted or shad-belly coat. He was full of sighs on all 
occasions, and in church would add an amen to everything 
said, frequently out of place. 

His main forte was in prayer. He had two stereotoypcd 
upon his mind, and ever ready for use on any and all occasions ; 
his morning prayer and his evening prayer. He sometimes (as 
Tom Harvey would say) "got the right prayer in the wrong 
place;" i. e., he would use the morning prayer in the evening, 
and vice versa. I well remember his evening prayer, having 
heard it nearly every Thursday night for ten years. It ran 
thus : 

"We desire to thank thee, Lord, that we are once more 
permitted to assemble together under the roof of thy divine 
sanctuary, and that while many of our fellcr-cvittcrs. that are 

88 Early Reminiscences, 

as good by iiater aud far better by practice, have sickened and 
died during the week that has passed and gone, and left these 
mundane shores, and gone to that house not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens, we are still permitted to remain here 
as the spared monuments of thy amazing grace. And now, 
Lord, in the close of our evening devotions draw feelingly and 
sensibly nigh unto us. Manifest thyself unto us as thou dost 
not unto the world, and grant that we may live as we shall 
wish we had when wc come to die. And, finally, when we 
are called upon to put ofiF this mortal and put on immortality, 
bring us to enjoy thyself and service; and all the glory we 
will ascribe to a triune God, world without end. Amen." 

Brother Bay, too, sought a home on the distant prairies, 
and fr:;m his advanced age when he left has, no doubt, ere 
this, "put oflF this mortal and put on immortality," and has 
met his old classmate. Brother Kittleman, on the other side 
of the river, "where congregations ne'er break up, and Sab- 
baths never end." 


In the character of Mr. Stephens there is very little to 
commend. He was more generally known by the name of 
''Sheep Stephens," than any other. An Irishman, named 
Richard Good, that had worked for him, charged him with 
being a "shape thafe," and that he had stolen VanBlaricum's 
ram, and when fearful of detection threw it into the well to 
hide it. He was, outside of the charges made by Mr. Good, 
considered the meanest man in the neighborhood, except 
"BuflFalo Cale." 

Mr. Stephens lost his wife. She was buried on Sunday^ 
which fact brought out the entire population to the funeral. 
On his return from the grave he called at my mother's to ask 
her advice in regard to a suit of clothes for mourning. He 
wislic'd to economize, and get such as would do to be married 

Janus M. Itay. 8£ 

in, should he take a notion to; though he thou.^ht it verv 
doubtful whether he would marry again, as he had looked 
around at the grave, and had seen none that he thought would 
fill Betsy s (h,s wife's) plaee. In justiee to Mr. Stephen's iud.- 
ment I must say, the variety of marriageable women was verv 
small at that time. "^ii-iy 

Soon after his wife's death he returned to Kentucky and 
soon found one he thought worthy to fill Betsy's plaee He 
never returned to Indiana. The loss to Indianapolis in a 
citizen, It is to be hoped, was Mr. Stephens' gain 

Kiehard Good was the first Hibernian that ever made Indi- 
anapolis h,s home. He lived with Messrs. Henderson & Blake 
for several years, us ostler at Washington Hall, accumu- 
lated enough to buy him a quarter-section of laud, which he 
■mproved and made a fine farm. He lived about two miles 
east of Greenwood, and there died a few years since, highly 
respected by his neighbors. ^ 

Was bo™ in Caldwell, Jfew Jersey, in the year 1800. Early 
m hfe he en„grated to the West. His first residence in 
Indiana was at Lawrenceburgh, in the year 1818, and after- 
wards at Connersville ; in each of which places he was en- 
gaged as deputy clerk. He came to where Indianapolis now 
IS early in the year 1821, and was clerk at the first sale of 
lots ,n October, of that year. At the first election in 18-» 
he was elected Clerk of Marion County. Morris Morris ^Z 
he principal opposing candidate, and it w-as a warmly con- 
es ed election, Madison and Hamilton Counties bein. at- 
aohed to Marion County for voting purposes. He wa"s a - 
■terwards re-elected as clerk and elected as recorder, and held 
those offices until he resigned them at the time of the or-,,, 
..ation of the State Bank of Indiana, when he was eleTted 
cashier, which position he held during the existence of tl e 

90 Early Reminisecenes. 

bank. He was then appointed cashier of the "Bank of the 
State," which position he held until he was elected presi- 
dent of the same, which ofl&ce he still holds. 

Mr. Kay was active in the first Bible society, and helped to 
organize the first Sunday school; and has been the Treasurer 
of the Indianapolis Benevolent Society since its organization 
in the year 1836. He was secretary of the first temperance 
society, also of the Colonization Society; secretary of the first 
fire company, that of the Marion, organized in 1835, and one 
of the principal stockholders in the first steam-mill. He has 
ever been liberal in contributing to the erection of churches 
of all denominations. There has been but very few, if any, 
public enterprises undertaken in Indianapolis that he has not 
aided by money and countenance since the first settlement of 
the place. And even now, at his advanced age, he does not 
seem to have lost any of the zeal of his younger years for the 
public good. His public positions and private successes were 
well calculated to bring down upon him the envy and jealousy 
of those less fortunate, but the tongue of slander and vituper- 
ation has never been hurled at James M. Bay, or the defama- 
tion of his character ever attempted. 

His great simplicity of character and manner; his well- 
known and unostentatious piety, with a pleasant word and a 
smile for all that business or circumstances have brought him 
in contact with, have endeared him to all who know him. 
The duties of time and the reward of eternity seem to be his 
greatest pleasure on earth. In his family circle, 

" His ready smile a parent's Iotc expressed, 
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed, 
To them bis heart, his love, his griefs were given, 
But all his serious thoughts had rest iu heaven." 

Mr. Bay is a small man, who would not weigh over one 
hundred and thirty pounds, but has prominent features, a 
mild black eye, and his whole contour at once denotes intelli- 
gence and an active mind. He was always very neat in his 

George Smith. 91 

person and dress, even when engaged in the common avoca- 
tions of life, but would never be taken for a fop. 

In the late war he took an active interest in the cause of 
the Union, and was treasurer of the Indiana Branch of the 
Christian Commission, of the Indiana Freedmans Aid Com- 
mission, and also of the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors' Home. 
He also aided in selling the State bonds to procure means to 
arm and support our troops. He yet resides at the north- 
west corner of Meridian and Ohio streets, where has been his 
homestead for over thirty years. That antique, large and 
comfortable mansion, and beautifully laid out grounds, are 
the admiration of all who see them ; and their whole appear- 
ance at once stamp the owner as a gentleman of culture, taste, 
and refinement. With one exception, this is the largest 
piece of very valuable property in the city, and long may the 
worthy proprietor and his estimable lady live to enjoy the 
comforts of such a home. 


Was one of the proprietors of the Indianapolis "Gazette," 
the first newspaper and the first printing establishment of 
any kind in Indianapolis. 

Mr. Smith was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and learned 
his trade in the office of the Lexington '"Observer," in Lex- 
ington, Kentucky. After his apprenticeship was out he went 
to Cincinnati and worked with Charlie Hammond, in the 
ofirce of the Liberty Hall and Cincinnati "Gazette." He 
lived at several difi"erent places in Ohio as well as Indiana 
before he came to this place in December, 1821. In January, 
1822, he, in connection with his step-son, Nathaniel Bolton, 
issued the first number of the "Gazette." Their office was in 
one corner of the cabin in which his family lived. This 
cabin was situated near by a row of cabins built by Wilmot, 
called S.noky Row, west of the Canal, and near Maryland 

92 Earli/ Jicminiscences. 

street. From this cabin the "Gazette'' was issued for the 
first year, thcMi taken to a cabin on the northeast corner of 
the State House Square. This paper, after changing pro- 
prietors and editors, and name and location several times, 
we now have in the shape and name of the Indianapolis 
"Sentinel." Mr. Smith was the first to start a real estate 
agency in Indianapolis, as will be seen by his advertisement 
in the "Gazette" of 1827. He was afterwards elected asso- 
ciate judge and served two terms. He and Governor Ray 
were the only persons that wore their hair plaited and hang- 
ing down their back, in a cue. 

The Judge had some difficulty with a lawyer named Gabriel 
J. Johnson. The lawyer got the Judge by the cue and for 
a while had him in chancery, but the Judge rallied his 
"strength" and administered to the lawyer a sound thresh- 
in"". He was a man of warm feeling and devotion to his 
friends, and would go any length to serve and accommodate 
one. He cared nothing for money or property, further than 
to make himself and family comfortable. He had but one 
child, to which he was devotedly attached. She is now the 
wife of my nearest neighbor, Mr. William Martin. Her first 
husband, Samuel Goldsberry, is spoken of in another place. 

After Mr. Smith had sold his interest in the "Gazette" 
and had quit the printing business, he bought the farm where 
the Insane Asylum now stands, and named it "Mount Jack- 
son." He continued to live there with his wife until the 
time of his death, which was in April, 1836, at the age of 
fifty-two years. His numerous friends regretted his death. 
His loss was deeply felt by the poor, to whom he was ever lib- 
eral and kind, treating them witii the greatest respect. 

Nathaniel Bolton. 93 


Eeference has been made to Mr. Bolton's connection with 
the Indianapolis "Gazette," in the preceding sketch. He was 
born in Chlllicothe, Ohio, and came to this place with his 
step-father and partner, George Smith, in December, 1821, 
when quite a young man. After Mr. Smith had retired from 
the "Gazette," Mr. Bolton continued the paper alone, and 
then with different partners for some time. In the meantime 
he was married to Miss Sarah T. Barrett, of Madison, now 
well known as one of Indiana's" most gifted daughters. Al- 
though a very talented lady, she lost nothing in that way by 
her connection with Mr. B., but had a great deal to gain. 
For several of the first years of Mr. Bolton's residence in 
this place he was very much afflicted, so much so, that he 
was scarcely expected to live from one day to another; but 
for some years before his death his health had improved. 
He was a ready writer, and wrote most of the articles for the 
"Gazette," over fictitious signatures, beside writing the lead- 
ing editorials. Several of the early articles I shall copy in 
this work, to show the style of writing in those days as well 
as the subject-matter. 

About the second year of the administration of President 
Pierce he was appointed "Consul" to Geneva, and remained 
there until President Buchanan's administration, when he 
was compelled on account of his health to resign and return 
home. He arrived at home in May, and died the next 
November. In his social relations he was thought a great 
deal of. He possessed fine conversational powers and was 
ever entertaining to his auditors. He was a warm partlzan, 
and expressed his views upon all and every occasion without 
stint or reserve, which may have made him some political 
enemies, but he had none personal. He left but two chil- 
dren, a son and daughter; his daughter, the wife of Mr. 
Frank Smith, of this city, has since deceased. She possessed. 

04 Earbj Reminiscences, 

ill addition to a large share of the native talent of her father 
and mother, fine accomplishments, and was one of the finest 
musicians of this city that abounds with talent of that particu- 
lar kind. 


In the Indiana "Journal" of January 9, 1827, I find the 
obituary notice of Mr. Ralston, the surveyor that laid out 

"Died in this place on Friday, the 5th instant, Alexander 
Ralston, Esq., aged fifty-six years." Mr. R. was a native of 
Scotland, but emigrated early in life to America. He lived 
many years at the city of "Washington, then at Louisville, 
Kentucky, afterwards near Salem, in this State, and for the 
last five years in this place. His earliest and latest occupa- 
tion in the United States was surveying, in which he was 
long employed by the Government at Washington, and his 
removal to this place was occasioned by his appointment to 
make the original survey of it. During the intervening 
period merchandise and agriculture engaged his attention. 

"In the latter part of his life he was our county surveyor, 
and his leisure time was employed in attending to a neat 
garden, in which various useful and ornamental plants, fruit, 
etc., were carefully cultivated. Mr. Ralston was successful in 
his profession, honest in his dealings, gentlemanly in his 
deportment, a liberal and hospitable citizen, and a sincere 
and ardent friend. He had experienced much both of the 
pleasures and pains incident to human life. The respect and 
esteem of the generous and good were always awarded to him, 
and he found constant satisfaction in conferring favors, not 
only on his own species, but even on the humblest of the 
})ruto creation. He would not willingly set foot upon a 
worm. Rut his unsuspecting nature made him liable to 
imposition. His sanguine expectations were often disap- 

Isaac Kinder. 95 

pointed ; his independent spirit sometimes provoked opposi- 
sition, and his extreme sensibility was frequently put to the 
severest trials. Though he stood alone among us in respect 
to family, his loss will be long lamented." 

As has been intimated by the "Journal," he was an old 
bachelor. He had a colored woman named Chany Lively, as 
a house-keeper. She was the second colored person to live 
in this place. The first was a boy, brought by Dr. Mitchell, 
named Ephraim Ensaw. 

Some years after Mr. Ralston's death, Chany married a 
well-known colored barber named John Britton, who yet 
lives here, and is one of our most respectable colored citi- 


Among the citizens of Marion County that were prominent 
in early years was Mr. Kinder. He had bought a half section 
of land at the sale in Brookville in the year 1821, and in 
March, 1822, moved to and improved a farm located three 
miles north of town, on the east bank of Fall Creek, known 
now as the property of John Sutherland. While living on 
this farm he was county surveyor, and as such ran out the 
lines of the first farms that were improved in the county. 
About the year 1831 he sold this farm to the present owner, 
John Sutherland, and removed to town and engaged in mer- 
chandizing, and for about ten years successfully carried on 
that business. 

Mr. Kindcr's only son living at the time. Captain T. B. 
Kinder, raised a company of volunteers for the Second Indiana 
Regiment in the Mexican war, and fell at the head of his 
company during the battle of Buena Yista, on the 2od of 
February, 3 847. In 1848 his father went to that distant and 
ill-fated battle-field and identified the body of his son, and 

90 Earbj Reminiscences. 

brought it to this place, where it rests in ouc of the city 

Isaac Kinder was a native of Pehiware, having been born in 
Sussex County in 1702. When quite young he emigrated to 
Pickaway County, Ohio, and was there married in the year 
1819, and at the time above mentioned became a citizen of 
Indiana. The death of his son sat heavily upon his mind, 
and greatly impaired his health, and hastened his death, which 
occurred in December, 1849. 

His widow yet resides in this city, and though advanced in 
age is quite active, and maybe seen attending to the ordinary 
duties of life as she did twenty-five years ago. 

Ilis six daughters, four of whom are married, yet reside in 
the city and vicinity. One is the wife of Mr. Clark, another 
of Martin Igo, a third of Mr. McLaughlin, and a fourth the 
wife of Mr. Trumbull. The two unmarried reside with their 
mother. The eldest daughter, now dead, was the wife of J. 
11. M. Bryant, of Williamsport, Warren County. 

Mr. Kinder was an industrious and frugal man, and left his 
family in comfortable circumstances. They own some fine 
business property on East Washington Street, known as 
"Kinder's Block." 


Came to this place early in the year 1821. He ascended 
White lliver in a flat-bottomed boat. He came directly from 
A incennes to this place, and had come to Yincennes, in the 
year 1820, from Marietta, Ohio. 

He was the first cooper, and made the first wash-tubs and 
and buckets, ibr which there was a demand from every new 
arrival of settlers. He brought the first barrel of whisky, 
although there had been large quantities brought here in 
smaller packages. He built a hewed log house on the north 
bank of the ravine, opposite to where Kingan's pork-house 

Amos Hanway, SeiK 97 

now stands. On this house he put a shinjjle roof (the shin- 
gles he made himself), tlie first roof the kind in the new pur- 

Mr. Hanway had several children, one of whom was then, 
and is yet, well known as a fisherman ; then in pursuit of the 
fiinny tribe, now as a fivsher of men. This was his eldest son, 
and took the name of his father. 

Amos Hanway, Jun., although a great fisherman, would 
spend but seven days of the week in the profession, i. e., he 
would commence early on Monday morning (he was conscien- 
tious about beginning on Sunday), and would finish his 
week's work late Sunday evening. He knew the nest of 
nearly every bass between Lake's Ford and the high banks 
of the river below the graveyard. Some thought he was per- 
sonally acquainted with each one of the fish. He had sev- 
eral ways of fishing, but his favorite was fire-fishing. He 
would build a platform on the bow of his canoe ; on this he 
would build a fire, the reflection of which would show him the 
fish at the bottom of the deepest water. 

Behind this fire he would stand, and select and spear or 
gig any fish he would wish. He was unerring in his aim, 
and hardly ever let a fish escape him. He was equally suc- 
cessful with hook and line, and his favorite bait was a wofui 
which he called helgramte, which he procured under old logs. 
He sometimes, when he wished to make it a pecuniary object, 
used a seine, when he would take the fish by wagon loads- 
and although they were very cheap compared with the prices 
now given, he would realize a considerable amount I'rom one 
day's work. 

Amos happened up town one evening, and wandered into a 
wheelwright shop which stood on the northeast corner of 
Pennsylvania and Market streets, where there was an old- 
fashioned Methodist prayer-meeting beinji held. It was here 
he first began to reflect upon the sin and wickedness of fish- 

98 Early Reminiscences, 

uvj, on the Sabbath day, and resolved he would "go and sin 
no more" in that way, and joined the Methodist Church. 
After reniaininti- in that church for some time he joined the 
"United Brethren," and is now a fisher of men in that most 
respectable religious organization, and if he is as successful 
in this kind of fishing as he was in the former, has no doubt 
caught many scaly fish as well as fat ones. 

He was for years one of the presiding elders, and officiated 
for many years in different parts of the State in that capac- 
ity, and, I understand, is one of the best preachers of the 
denomination. His brother Samuel, well-known to our citi- 
zens, is also a member of the same church, and one of our 
reliable business men. 

*' There's a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough hew them as we will." 


There were, in early days, three Esquire Johnsons in Ma- 
rion County — Joseph, James W., and plain James. It is of 
the latter I write, who has, for over forty-five years, resided 
on the Crawfordsville State road, five miles west of the city. 

He is a native of Grayson County, Virginia, and inherits 
many of the traits of character peculiar to the citizens of his 
native State. At an early age he came to Butler County, 
Ohio, and there lived until he came to this place in the year 
1822. Since coming here he has held several offices of honor 
and emolument. For eleven years he was a justice of the 
peace in and for Wayne Township, at a time when the magis- 
trates of the several townships, as a board, transacted the 
business of the county. 

While the Hon. Jesse D. Bright was United States Mar- 
shal of the State, Mr. J. was his principal deputy. He was 
elected to represent the county in the Legislature in the 
years 1838 and 1839, and served two sessions. He was a 

Nathaniel Cox. 99 

good and efficient member, and attentive to the interests of 
his constituents. 

Near fifty years since he purchased one hundred and sixty 
acres of land, lying on the Noblesville State road, about 
eight miles north of the city. There has never been a stick of 
timber cut ofiF this land, unless stolen or unauthorized by the 
owner. This land is very heavily timbered, the majestic 
oaks and poplars still standing with all their native dignity. 
This fact indicates that he has never been hard-pressed for 
money. He owns several pieces of valuable city property in 
addition to his several fine and productive farms. 


Was a native of Maryland, and born in Talbott County, but 
at an early age emigrated with his parents to Chillicothe, 
Ohio. After living at several different places he came to 
Jeffersonville, in this State, where he remained a short time. 
From the latter place he came to Indianapolis in the fall of 
1821. He was a great hunter and fisherman, and for some 
time did but little except in that line. He would often dress 
himself in Indian costume, and hunt for several days with- 
out returning, camping out as an Indian. He was very fond 
of frightening those who had just come to the settlement, 
and who had not seen much of the Indians. 

He was a great wag, and fond of playing pranks on the un- 
suspecting, to many of which I have been the victim. One 
of his best practical jokes was upon himself. Before the 
days of soda fountains, he requested Mr. Hannaman to pre- 
pare him two glasses, one containing carbonate acid, the other 
soda, as he wished to try the eflfect of the effervescence in the 
stomach. He first drank one draught and then the other. 
The experiment was satisfactory, at least so much so that he 
never wished to try it again. The fluid came from his eyes 
ears, mouth and nose in such a way that it alarmed the 

100 Early Reminiscences. 

bystanders. I have often heard him say he thought the Falls 
of Niagara were running through and out of his head. 

In the month of January, 1825, and while the Legislature 
was in session, he conceived the idea of serenading its mem- 
bers. There was a society, of which he was the head and 
master spirit. This organization Mr. Cox named the "Indi- 
anapolis Anarugian Society." They numbered about thirty 
persons, and their object was fun or amusement, in any shape 
whatever not injurious to the public. 

One Pete Harmon was the proprietor of four yoke of oxen 
and two log-sleds, which he used for hauling saw-logs to the 
mill. The sleds Mr. Cox attached together in such a way 
that a platform was built on them to accommodate the whole 
society, who were dressed in all kinds of fantastic style that 
fancy or convenience might dictate, and with everything con- 
ceivable that would make a loud and disagreeable noise — 
strings of tin cups, horns, cow-bells, drums, tin pans and ket- 
tles — and to the sleds the four yoke of oxen were hitched. 
On the near steer of each yoke was a driver, dressed in a sim- 
ilar manner to the performers on the platform. In this way 
they left the store of Mr. Jacob Landis, about nine o'clock at 
night, and, after visiting the various hotels and boarding- 
houses, where members of the Legislature did mostly congre- 
gate, and performing at each place upon their instruments, 
returned to the place of starting, where a bountiful supply of 
Mr. Landis' staple article, "peach and honey," awaited them. 

AVhile Mr. Blake was supervisor of the roads, he had some 
men at work on Meridian street, in Pogue's Creek bottom, 
among whom was Mr. Cox. Mr. Blake, missing him from 
work, sought and found him sitting in the shade on the bank 
of the creek, with a sewing-thread and pin-hook, fishing for 

Mr. Cox was a singular and erratic man, possessed a gener- 
ous and kind heart, and was universally respected. He died 

Samuel Henderson. 101 

about the year 1850, leaving a wife and a respectable family 
of children, all of whom yet reside in the city. 


The first postmaster, was a Kentuckian. He came to this 
place in the fall of 1821. Like one or two other of the early 
settlers, his services were considered more valuable in any 
other way than at house-raisings or log-rollings. He was a 
large, fleshy man, and could not have been very serviceable in 
tliat way had he been so disposed. 

He held the offie of postmaster until the summer of 1829, 
when he was removed by General Jackson, and Captain John 
Cain appointed as his successor. 

Mr. Henderson, in connection with Mr. James Blake, 
built Washington Hall tavern, in 1824, and they kept it for 
some time as partners, Mr. Blake selling out to Mr. Hender-- 
son, who kept it as sole proprietor for many years. He, in 
1835, sold it to the Washington Hall Company, who built ad- 
ditions to it, and it was kept many years by Mr. Edmund 
Browning, and was the principal hotel in the place. It then 
changed hands and name, and was kept by General Elliott as 
the AVright House. It was also kept by the late Henry 
Achy, and others, and was always a first-class hotel for Indi- 
anapolis. It has been remodeled, and is now known as 
" Glenn's Block," or "The New York Store." 

He was the first Mayor of Indianapolis, and discharged the 
duties quite as well as any have since at much larger salaries 
than he received, and with quite as much dignity and satis- 
faction to the public. 

Mr. Henderson owned and, for a time, lived on the quarter 
section of land a portion of which is now "Camp Morton," or 
the State Fair grounds. He also owned the residence of the 
late Judge McDonald. 

About the time the various railroads that center to this 

102 Early Reminiscences. 

city were being built, Mr. Henderson became alarmed as to the 
future of Indianapolis, and sold the two pieces of property 
last named for less than one-tenth their present value. 

I saw him in Washington City, en route for his present 
home, California. He expressed the opinion that the general 
railroad system being inaugurated would ruin this city; that 
the thousands of persons who passed through it would not 
stop long enough to get a drink of water, and that Indianap- 
olis would retrograde, and become nothing but a way station. 

Could the worthy old gentleman see it to-day, with its 
sixty thousand inhabitants, its two magnificent rolling mills, 
its eight or ten foundrys of different kinds, its various steam 
establishments, how quick he would see his error. 

No man that ever lived in Indianapolis was more re- 
spected by the old citizens than Samuel Henderson, no man 
ever left it more regretted by his many friends, and no per- 
son would meet with a more joyous welcome than he should 
he visit us again. 

He was a man of warm feelings for his friends, and strong 
prejudices against those he did not like. He was a most in- 
veterate opponent of General Jackson, and the party that 
sprung up and supported the measures advocated by him. 
He was a time-honored patron of the two leading Whig 
newspapers of their day — the "National Intelligencer," of 
Washington City, and the "Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Ga- 
zette " — and would generally sacrifice any other pleasure for 
that of perusing these papers. 


Was a native of New Jersey, and a classmate of the late 
Judge Blackford, at Princeton College, where he graduated 
with high honors. 

He studied medicine, and received a diploma at one of the 
Eastern institutions. He was, when very young, appointed 

Dr. Jonathan Coot. 103 

a surgeon in the United States army, and was for some time 
stationed at the barracks in Newport, Kentucky. 

Dr. Cool was a man of fine native as well as acquired abil- 
ities, but, like many others placed in similar situations, fell a 
victim to intemperance. The Doctor had descended too far 
in dissipation to practice after he came to this place. 
He lived with his mother, about three miles north east 
of the city. When Dr. Cool first came here, in 1821, Dr. 
Coe was the only physician well enough to practice, the 
the three other doctors, Mitchell, Dunlap and Scudder, being 
all sick and unable to render any assistance whatever. Dr. 
Cool soon made the discovery that Dr. Coe gave very large 
doses of medicine, and it was true. Dr. Coe went on the 
principle that if a "little was good, a great deal was better," 
and acted upon that hypothesis. This fact elicited from Dr. 
Cool this couplet : 

" Oh, Doctor Coe, oh. Doctor Coe, 
What makes you dose j'our patients so?" 

There was no person better known to the citizens, from 
1821 to 1840 (about the time of his death), than Doctor Jon- 
athan Cool. He was very fond of quoting from the poets, 
and ever had a quotation at the end of his tongue to illus- 
trate anything he said. He was, I suppose, one of the most 
gentlemanly drinking men we have ever had in the place, 
never using vulgar language under any circumstance. If he 
would borrow anything it would be with the understanding 
that it was never to be returned. His word he valued very 
highly, and on no occasion would he violate it. He went to 
a liquor store on a Saturday evening and asked for a bottle of 
whisky, which was given him, on condition that he would not 
open it until he reached his mother's spring. After arriving 
at the spring he cooled his mouth with water, and prepared 
ior a " good jorum," as he expressed it, but found the bottle 

104 Marly lienniUiscenccs. 

contained only water. After this he never went to that store 
again, and they lost his custom. 

There was nothing they could have done to him that 
would make him so angry as to deceive him. He made it a 
point of honor never to deceive any person, no matter how 
much he needed a drink or anything else. Some persons, 
who stand high in the social scale, might have learned a les- 
son from him in that respect that would be valuable to them. 

The old citizens will recognize in this one of his oft-re- 
peated quotations: 

" Just like love is yonder rose. 
Heavenly fragrance round it glows. 
But underneath a briar grows — 
Just like love." 


The memory of this man should ever be revered by the 
early citizens of Indianapolis, especially by those who were 
here or had friends here in that ever memorable year of sick- 
ness and death, 1821. He came to this place in May of that 
year, and was the only physician able to render any assistance 
to the people during the two months of sickness, August and 

The Doctor had brought a large supply of Peruvian bark 
and wine, which was the only thing with which he could con- 
quer the fever and ague. Had it not been for his un- 
tiring services the mortality of that year would have been 
much greater. lie could be seen at almost any time of night 
dodging through the woods (in his gig, and by the light of 
his lantern), from one cabin to another, administering to the 
sick in other wavs as well as ixivins medicine. 

After the sickness had abated he was prominent in for- 
warding and promoting the interests of the settlers in other 
ways. He was active with Messrs. Ray and Blake in organ- 

Morris Morris. 105 

izing the first Sabbath-school, the first church and the first 
Bible society. 

Dr. Coe was, for several years, one of the three fund com- 
missioners of the State, in connection with the late Caleb B. 
Smith, and Samuel Hanna, of Fort Wayne. 

He was a native of the State of New Jersey, and, as above 
stated, came to this place in May, 1821. He first settled on 
the bank of Fall Creek, just below where the Crawfordsville 
State road crosses that stream, and lived there several years. 
He then bought a lot, and built a house on Circle street, 
about equi-distant between the "Journal" buildings and 
Christ (Episcopal) Church, where he remained during his 
residence in this city. 

Dr. Coe was ever active in all benevolent or charitable as- 
sociations calculated to benefit the poor and unfortunate, 
without regard to their religion. 

The few years previous to his death he spent in some por- 
tion of the West with his friends. His remains were brought 
to Indianapolis for interment, and now rest in Crown Hill 

" Here will I rest, until the 'lay declines, 

A voiceless pilgrim toward the land of song, 
And, like a sentinel, the herald signs 

Of him whose coming hath been stayed too long." 


Was from Carlisle, Nicholas County, Kentucky. He and his 
eldest son, Austin, had come to the bluffs of AVhite River in 
1821, and put in a crop of four acres of corn. 

At the sale of land in Brookville, in July, he purchased a 
quarter section that lay about a mile from the donation, and 
adjoining the sixteenth section that had been reserved for 
school purposes, and on the west side of the river. 

To this laud he moved his family about the first of Octo- 
ber, and a few days before the first sale of lots. Soon after 

lOG Early Reminiscences. 

he settled in liis new home his whole family were taken sick 
with chills and fever. This discouraged him very much, so 
much so that he wished to return to Kentucky, and would 
have done so had not Mrs. Morris opposed it, and to her In- 
dianapolis is indebted for what afterwards turned out to be 
several of its most valuable citizens. Mr. Morris brought the 
corn he had raised at the bluffs to within a mile of his house 
in a boat. 

He was a candidate for clerk of the county at the first elec- 
tion, held in April, 1822, and was defeated by the "in yonder 
on Whitewater " vote, which outnumbered that of the Ken- 

He represented this county several years in the Legisla- 
ture, and was aiterwards elected Auditor of State, and served 
two or three terms. He made a very efficient and popular 

His family consisted of six children when he first came to 
the new purchase, four sons, Austin, Milton, Thomas and 
John, and two daughters, Amanda and Julia, to which was 
added, after they came here, Elizabeth and William. 

Austin was for many years, and up to the time of his death, 
in 1851, a leading man and a successful politician, and en- 
joyed the confidence of his (Whig) party to a great extent. 
I believe his first office was that of colonel of militia. He 
represented the county several times in the Legislature. He 
was an enthusiastic member of the Methodist Church, and a 
devoted Christian. 

Milton was for several years a clerk for the late Nicholas 
McCarty, and then engaged in the mercantile business at 
Covington, Fountain County, and was quite successful. He 
died in the South many years since, where he had gone with 
several boats laden with produce. 

The third son we have now in the person of Gen. Thomas 
A. Morris, one of our most prominent men. He was a grad- 

Morris 3Iorris. 107 

uate of West Point, but resigned to follow pursuits more con- 
genial to his taste. While he was in the army he was consid- 
ered one of the best disciplinarians in it, as he is now one of 
the most skillful of civil engineers. He was for many years 
employed on the public works of the State, was chief engi- 
neer on the Cincinnati and Indianapolis Railroad, and has 
had some connection with nearly all the roads centering to 
this city, and is at this time President of the Indianapolis and 
St. Louis Railway, which is being constructed under his su- 
pervision. In the early part of the rebellion he rendered 
signal service in Western Virginia for which others got the 
credit. He was tendered a prominent position in the army 
but declined (as I understand), because the Government had 
not properly appreciated his services already rendered. 

John D. Morris, the fourth son, has for several years been 
engaged in the freight ofl&ce of the Cincinnati and Indianap- 
olis Railroad, and to him the writer is indebted for having 
stood by him at a very trying time, and he takes this occa- 
sion to return him thanks, after twenty-nine years, for the 
prompt manner in which he performed his part. True, he 
made a slight mistake at the altar in handing the minister 
the money instead of the legal document. 

Amanda was the wife of one of our leading physicians. Dr. 
John L. Mothershead. She has been dead several years, and 
so has William, the youngest child. 

Julia is the wife of Mr. Ross, formerly superintendent of 
the Cincinnati Railroad, but now engaged in one of the de- 
partments at Washington. 

Elizabeth is the wife of John D. Defrees, for several years 
Superintendent of Public Printing at Washington, and for 
many years editor of the Indianapolis "Journal," and a 
leading Whig politician of Indiana. It is to John D. De- 
frees that the present Vice President of the United States is 
indebted for his high position, and, as the New York "Tri- 

108 Early Reminiscenses. 

bune" remarked in regard to Grant and Rawlings, so with 
Colfax and Defrees: had there been no John D, Defrees there 
would have been no Vice President Colfax. 

3Ir. Morris had the fiiculty of holding on to the city prop- 
erty which he bought at an early day, and which now consti- 
tutes the finest business property in the city. He owned the 
entire square north of and adjoining the Union Depot, which 
made hi.s heirs quite wealthy. 

When 31r. Morris first came to Indianapolis our parents 
wore known only as ''dad and mam," or "pap and mammy," 
but we soon learned to call them "pa and ma," from Mr. M.'s 

His house was ever the home of ministers of all denomina- 
tions, among whom was numbered, as the particular friend of 
Mr. M., the late James Havens. Mr. and Mrs. Morris were, 
from time immemorial, called, by both old and young. Pa and 
Ma Morris. At the time of Mrs. Morris' death, which oc- 
curred in 1864, they lacked but one month of having lived 
together sixty years — an ordinary lifetime. He died in 1867, 
at the ripe age of eighty-three. 

" Howe'er it be, it seems to me, 

'Tis only noble to be good ; 
Kind hearts are more than coronets, 

And simple faith than Norman blood." 


Was the first physician who came to Indianapolis, in April, 
1821. He was from Paris, Kentucky. He first built a 
liewed log house on the southwest corner of Washington and 
Tennessee ssreets, where the State ofiices now stand. He 
then bought the lot, and built a frame house, on the north- 
west corner of Washington and Meridian streets, where the 
" Bee Hive " store now stands. At the latter place he lost 
his wife and only child. This bereavement he never got over 
until his death. He was a large, fleshy man, and, like that 

Jerry Collins. 109 

kind of men generally, was very good-natured. He possessed 
many fine traits of character, and was noted for his hospital- 
ity and liberality. I do not think he was considered as good 
a physician as either of the other three physicians of that 

He brought with him the first colored person that came to 
Indianapolis, a boy about fifteen years old, named Ephraim 
Ensaw. This boy took advantage of the Doctor's good na- 
ture and kindness, and became so bad that the Doctor had to 
get rid of him. 

The Doctor had a stroke of palsy, and became paralyzed. 
He was taken by his friends to Ohio, and there died about the 
year 1837. He was a brother-in-law of Samuel Henderson, 
the first postmaster, and father-in-law of Henry Porter, a 
prominent merchant of his day. 


Or "Uncle Jerry," as he was familiarly called by the lovers 
of the ardent, and especially by his immediate customers, 
kept a small whisky-shop on the southwest corner of Wash- 
ington and Meridian streets. He also kept other refresh- 
ments for his lady customers, such as ginger cakes, smoked 
herring and spruce beer. 

Uncle Jerry was not permitted by law to sell whisky in a 
less quantity than a quart, and that not to be drank upon 
his premises. Being a law-abiding man, and to accom- 
modate his many customers, and more especially those 
from Waterloo, he had a pump placed on Meridian street, 
just around the corner from his front door, which could not 
be construed to be upon his premises. 

i For the information of those who were not acquainted with 
Indianapolis at that time, I would say that Waterloo was that 
portion of the county and river bottom lying between the 

110 Early Reminiscences. 

bluff road and the river, commencing about three miles from 
town and extending about five miles south. 

In Waterloo there were about twenty adult male inhabit- 
ants, viz : the Mundys, Snows, Tharps, Fanehers, Paddocks, 
Pressers, and last, but by no means least, were the Ste- 
phenses, among whom was "Rip-Roaring Bob," as he called 

When Waterloo came to town their headquarters was Uncle 
Jerry's pump. Soon after their arrival you would see one of 
them go into the shop, and soon return to join his comrades 
with a quart measure (filled with whisky, the price of which 
was twelve and a-half cents) in one hand and a small tin cup 
in the other. The quart cup would make the trip to the 
shop and return about every half hour, and continue until 
each and every one had accompanied it at least once, by 
which time each one would have drank his quart of whisky 
and contributed his shilling. On public occasions the trips 
were made in more rapid succession, and about two to each 
person, when the quantity drank and the money expended 
would be doubled. It is proper here to say that while the 
quart measure is making the various trips to and from the 
shop, if feminine Waterloo should be in town, they would be 
seated in the shade of the house reyraling themselves with 
ginger cakes, smoked herring and spruce beer. 

Then would begin their gymnastic and other performances, 
under the direction of their leader, '"Rip Roaring Bob," and 
they were generally kept up until the small boys would re- 
turn from school, and the young men had quit their several 
avocations for the day. Waterloo would then be invited to 
leave town, and were generally accompanied on their forced 
march down Meridian street to the limits of town, and often 
some distance south of " Pogue's Creek." To accelerate their 
movonient and to them along, eggs, brickbats, boulders 
and other missies were brought into requisition by the assail- 

Hugh a Neat. Ill 

ing party. When the eggs began to fly ''fast and furious," 
and the boulders fell like hail around them, they would re- 
tire in a very disorganized and demoralized condition. "Rip 
Roaring Bob " was generally in the rear keeping back the as- 
sailing party, and covering the retreat of his comrades, while 
Garrett Presser would be far in advance of his retreating 
friends, going at the rate of "two-forty" on his little black 
mare, and Jonathan Paddock would be close at his heels, with 
his umbrella hoisted to keep off the flying missiles. On one 
occasion a young man of the town party was some distance in 
advance of his friends (who had stopped pursuit). "Rip 
Roaring Bob" was some distance behind his party, and, 
with his quick perceptibility, soon saw the true situation, 
and "made for" the young man, who barely escaped Bob's 
clutches, receiving in his back on his retreat some of the 
same missies thrown by his own party at Waterloo. 

"Rip Roaring Bob" moved from Waterloo to Hamilton 
County, and became a respectable man, and accumulated a 
considerable property. The balance of Waterloo has been 
scattered upon the broad prairies of Missouri, Iowa and Illi- 
nois, and have no doubt often related to their neighbors 
their many hair-breadth escapes from, and daring adventures 
with, the early settlers of Indianapolis. 

Jerry Collins and Cader Carter dug the grave of Daniel 
Shaffer, the first person buried in the old graveyard, in Au- 
gust, 1821. 

Uncle Jerry died of cholera in 1852, and left a fine prop 
erty to be divided between his nephews and other relatives, 
he being an old bachelor. 


When I attempt to write a short sketch of the career of 
this noble and generous-hearted young man, and my early 
schoolmate, the involuntary tear drops on the paper. I am 

112 Early Reminiscences. 

carried back many years to our schoolboy days and childish 
sports, before our selfish natures had assumed entire control 
of our actions, and when, if we had a vein of good feeling 
running through our thought it would not be crushed out by 
what society would think of our action if we took some 
fallen young man by the hand and gave him an encouraging 
word. How many young and promising men have been 
ruined and lost for the want of some such friend, w^ho 
undeterred from doing their duty by what society would 
think of them, instead of frowning upon them for their offense 
and shunning them as they would a leper, would "con- 
demn the fault and not the actor of it," and thereby let them 
know 'twas their fault and not their person they shunned. 

Could they only know the heart and secret workings of the 
tortured mind of those they condemn, how different would 
they act. 

Hugh O'Xeal came to this place when a boy, in the year 
1821. His father, Thomas O'Neal, lived on and owned the 
first eighty acres of land north of and adjoining "Camp Mor- 
ton," where are now the State Fair grounds. He was poor, 
and could do but little toward the education of his children. 

Hugh, being industrious and very energetic, managed to 
acquire a fair English education, studied law and rose to 
a respectable position in his profession. No young man 
in the State bid fairer to rise to eminence and distinction 
than he did. When the California mania was raging, in 1849, 
his ambition prompted him to risk his chances for fortune in 
that golden region, and it was there he fell a victim to that 
destroying demon (intemperance) that annihilates all that is 
good and virtuous in our natures, and sends us to an early 
grave unhonored and unsung. After his return from Califor- 
nia he did but little business. True, he was successful in 
some very important cases intrusted to his care, but the love 
of drink and a disappointed ambition brought him to an early 

Hugh O'Neal 113 

grave, with but few relatives, though many friends, to drop the 
sympathetic tear upon his coffin. 

In his cavSe I would reverse the quotation so often used 
from Mark Anthony's oration over the dead body of Caesar, 
which reads: " The evil men do lives after them ; the good is 
oft interred with their bones." I would say, " The good men 
do lives after them; the evil is oft interred with their bones." 
So let it be with Hugh. 

Some of the new and present citizens of Indianapolis may 
ask who was Hugh O'Neal? To such I would say, he was the 
peer in social standing and superior in talent to many who 
now stand upon the top round of the ladder in this refined 
society. He was very irritable, and frequently let his passion 
get the better of his judgment, and would often make harsh 
and uncalled for expressions to those he had intercourse 
with, but was always ready, when the momentary ebullitions 
of passion were over, to make reparation for anything said or 

On one occasion he and the late Governor Wallace were op- 
posing counsel. The Governor rather got the advantage of 
Hugh, which made him very angry, and he was quite abu- 
sive, to which the Governor paid no attention, knowing that 
it would soon be over. After court adjourned, the Governor 
was passing by the door of a saloon. Hugh was some dis- 
tance behind. He called out to the Governor to stop. After 
Hugh came up he said, " Let's take a drink." " Certainly," 
said the Governor ; " that is the only sensible remark I have 
heard you make to-day." And all was as well with them as 
though nothing had happened. 

" The social glass I saw him seize, 
The more with festive wit to please. 
Duily increased his love of cheer ; 
Ah, little thought he death was near. 
Gradual indulgence on him stole ; 
Frequent became the midnight bowl. 


114 Early Reminiscences. 

Twas in that bowl the headache placed, 
Which, with the juice, his lips embraced. 
Despair next mingled with the draught ; 
Indignantly he drank and langhed." 


This brawny son of Tulcan was the first in Indianapolis 
to lay a plow, steel an ax, make a grubbing-hoe, or shoe 
a horse. He miizht have been the same that forged the bolts 
of Jove. He had a will to dare do anything. He was as 
much a terror to the children in an early day as Dave Buck- 
hart was in after years to the "colored society." 

The old man was very clever if you would get on the right 
side of him, but very few had the good fortune to do so. He 
claimed the same right for his hogs, geese and cattle that he 
did for himself, i. e., to do as they pleased. 

He had an apprentice boy named Jim Shannon. This boy 
he whipped with an iron nailrod, as he said it was the only 
thing that would reach the quick. He said his skin was like 
an allisator's. and when he struck him with an iron rod the 
scales would fly off. Perhaps he meant the scales of iron 
from the rod. 

On one occasion his geese had got into trouble. He 
wished for the power of King Herod for twenty-four houra. 
He said he would slay every boy in the settlement of the age 
of six years and under. He would commence with John 
Xowland, and when he got to the Carter boys would take the 
old man with them. 

Captain John Cain had a very fine dog, which he kept 
chained in his yard. Mr. Van Blaricum became very suspi- 
cious that this dog was kept for protection against his hogs. 
He took his gun and went down to the Captain's house and 
shot the dog in the presence of the family, and while the dog 
was chained. Out of this transaction grew a suit for dam- 
ages. It commenced in the circuit court, and, I think, ended 

Old Hekey, 115 

in the supreme court. It cost Van Blaricum several hundred 
dollars. It was during this suit that it was proved his 
hogs had been seen in the second story of Hawkins' Hotel. 

A gentleman went to his shop to have some work done, 
which he needed very much. Van Blaricum told him he 
would not stop to make a nail for his coffin. 

Mr. Van B. owned the lot, and had his shop, on the south- 
east corner of Washington and Meridian streets, where 
Blackford's block now stands. He also owned and lived on 
the lot immediately back of it, fronting on Meridian street. 
He sold them and removed to a farm four miles from town, on 
the Crawfordsville road. 

It was John Van Blaricum who whipped the captain of 
the steamboat " The General Hauna," and cleared the boat of 
the balance of the crew in 1831, an account of which will be 
found on another page. 

He died at his residence in the year 1850. Like every 
person else, he had many traits of character — some were bud 
and some were very bad. 

•• In yonder on Whitewater," near Brookville, furnished 
us with John Van Blaricum, in the vear 1821. He had sev- 
eral sons, some of whom will be mentioned in another sketch. 

"The smith, a mighty man is he, with large ai:d sinewy hands ; 
The muscles of his brawny arms are strong as iron bands. 
Thus, at the flaming forge of life our fortunes must be wrought; 
Thus, on the sounding anvil shaped, each burning deed and thought." 


Lived on the school section (Xo. 16^. west of Eagle Creek, 
and near what was called the •• big raspberry patch." His 
house was the headquarters for dances and sprees of all kinds. 
He made it a point to invite all the "new comers."' on first 
sight, to visit him. 

He made the acquaintance of the late Colonel A. W. Rus- 
sell soon after the arrival of the latter to the '• new settle- 

116 Early Reminiscences. 

ment." He invited him to come over and become acquainted 
with his family. Said he, "Thar's no such gals in the settle- 
ment as Old Helvey's ; thar's Bash, and Vine, and Tautrabo- 
srus, and the like o' that. 

" I'll tell ye, stranger, that Bash is a boss. I would like 
you to come over and take a rassell with her. She tbrowed 
Ole 'Likuni Harding, best two in three ; 'tother was a dog 
fall, but Bash soon turned him and got on top on him. 

" Vine ain't slow for ten steps, as Ole Jim McCoy sez. 
She flirted Cader Carter every lick. Cader wanted to spark 
her, but the gal thought she seed nigger in his eye. It 
wouldn't do, stranger. Vine's clear grit, as Jerry Johnson 

" Now, you are from Kaintuek ; you watch Cader's eye ; 
see if thar ain't nigger thar. 

" I'll tell you, stranger, that gal Bash killed the biggest 
buck that's been killed in the new purchase. She shot off- 
hand, seventy-five yards. He was a real three-specker, no 

" There's a lame schoolmaster, from Jarsey, arter Bash, 
and the gal, I b'leve, has a kind of hankering arter him. He 
can't dance much, but he's an awful sight of book larnin'. 
He used to keep school in Jarsey. He's mighty nice kin 
folks; he's kin to them new comers, Johnsons and Cools. 
You know that Doctor Cool ; he degraded in college. The 
school teacher aint far ahind him. So, stranger, come over 
and see what kind of gals Old Helvey's are, anyhow." 

Mr. Russell accepted Mr. Helvey's invitation, and was fre- 
quently a guest at his house, and when he came all had to 
stand back, even the lame schoolmaster. He became a great 
favorite with the family generally. The old lady said " he 
was the only man in the new purchase that could play Yan- 
kee Doodle or Leather Breeches riojht on the fiddle," and 

OldHelvey. 117 

after that dancing never commenced until " Young Kaintuck" 
had arrived. 

The lame schoolmaster was successful, and won the hand as 
well as the heart of Miss Bashaby. Young Kaintuck was 
master of ceremonies on the occasion of the wedding. There 
are many of the guests yet living, among whom is Jacob 

After the bride and groom had retired, the whisky gave 
out. There was no way of getting more of it except at Mr. 
Landis' grocery. He was present, but there was no pen, pen- 
cil or paper with which an order could be sent to his clerk. 
Old Helvey suggested that Mr. Landis should send his knife, 
which would be recognized by the young man, and would cer- 
tainly bring the whisky. This was done, and the whisky 
came, to the great joy of all present. 

Mr. Helvey thought the bride and groom must be dry by 
this time, so he took the jug to them and made them drink to 
the health of the guests. 

Miss Viney soon followed her sister, and became the wife 
of Champion Helvey, her cousin. At this wedding there was 
a grand serenade by Nathaniel Cox's minstrels, which was 
under his direction. The principal musical instrument was a 

Old Helvey distinguished himself in many hotly-contested 
battles at Jerry Collins' grocery, and never failed to van- 
quish his adversary, and fairly won the trophies of war, 
which were, generally, an eye, a piece of an ear, a part of a 
finger, or a slice of flesh from some exposed part of his an- 
tagonist's person. In Mr. Helvey's house could be found a 
great variety of munitions of war, such as rifles, shot-guns, 
muskets, tomahawks, scalping and butcher-knives. In his 
yard were all kinds of dogs, from the surly bull-dog to the 
half-wolf or "ingin dog." In his pound or stable was a va- 

118 Early Reminiscences. 

riety of Indian ponies. In his second cabin, used for a kit- 

•' DrIeJ pumpkins over head were strung, 
Where venison hams in plenty hung." 

After the treaty with the Miamis of the Wabash, at the 
mouth of Little Kiver, in the year 1832, Mr. Helvey moved 
to the treaty ground, and there died. 

Ilis only son and right bower, Tantrabogus, was drowned 
in Eel River. The last the writer ever saw of Bashaby she 
was a dashing widow, and could out dance the world. 


Among the great variety of characters I have met with in 
writing these reminiscences, the counterpart, or anything that 
approximates to that of Mr. Givan, cannot be found. He is 
a man of as much general information on commonplace sub- 
jects as can be found anywhere, 

lie has an acquaintance throughout this as well as nearly 
all the Western States. Indeed, there is scarcely a town but 
what he can tell you the name of some person living there, or 
had lived there, or intended to, or had come from there, or 
something in regard to it. He has an uncommon memory, 
and is possessed of more incidents connected with the early 
history of this city than any person now living, and, al- 
though I profess to know something of this city myself, I am 
compelled to yield the palm in that particular. 

His mind, from some cause, took an unfortunate turn some 
years since, from which resulted the loss of his property, or 
he might be to-day, as he once was, one of the prominent 
men of this city. 

Mr. Givan's store was a perfect curiosity shop. In it could 
be found any article that utility or necessity might demand. 
A gentleman once inquired (in sport) for goose yokes, and to 
his surprise they were produced by dozens. 

John Gicam. 119 

In the early settlement of Boone County large quantities 
of wild honey was taken and brought to this market for sale. 
Mr. Given was the purchaser of the honey as well as the bees- 
wax. The honey was brought to market in this way: Two 
hickory poles were attached together like shafts, the ends 
resting on the ground. On these poles the barrel of honey 
was fastened by pins. In front of the barrel boards were 
placed, on which the beeswax was carried. When the roads 
were bad two horses were necessary to pull the load; in that 
case one horse was hitched in front of the other, or tandem 

About the year 1826 a man named Whaley sold Mr. Givan 
a barrel of honey, and a large cake of beeswax that had been 
molded in a sugar-kettle, and, although very large, Mr. Givan 
thought it very heavy for the size. He told Whaley that it was 
too large to pack in a barrel, as he did for shipping, and pro- 
posed that Whaley should help him break it open. For this 
purpose he took a fro (an article used for splitting boards), 
and had Whaley hold it across the cake while he struck it 
with a maul. The cake opened and disclosed a rock as large 
as a man's head, which broke the fro. Mr. Givan not only 
charged Whaley with the rock, but the profit he would have 
made on it had it have been wax. He also charged him with 
the fro. Nor was that all; he told his customer that he kept 
an account of what was stolen from him, and that whenever 
he detected any person in rascality he made him pay this 
account; all of which Whaley paid, and seemed glad to get 
off in that way. 

James Givan, the father of John, and for many years his 
partner, lived on his farm at what is now the east end of 
Washington street, and near where Col. John W. Ray now 
resides. He there died in the summer of 1831:. 

Since this sketch was written, and in the month of May, 
1870, Mrs. Margaret Givan, the second wife of James Givan, 

120 Early Reminiscences. 

has died. No woman, since the first settlement of Indianap- 
olis, has been connected with so many benerolent and char- 
itable institutions. 

John Givan, the last of his father's children living, yet re- 
sides here, and looks as though his sands of life were well 
nigh spent, and is a fit subject for the charity of the few old 
settlers of Indianapolis, most of whom have grown wealthy, 
while he is quite poor. I hope this suggestion will not be 
disregarded by those who could render him assistance with- 
out feeling any poorer in consequence, and thereby do an act 
of kindness for one who, in his better and prosperous days, 
did many acts of charity for the poor and unfortunate. 


Was among those who came to this place in the year 1821. 
He was directly from Jennings County, where he had lived a 
short time prior to his coming here. He was originally from 
Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky. 

Mr. Patterson had a large family of children (about ten) 
when he first came, with the addition of several after he 
came to this place. Those of his children that are yet living 
still remain in the city and neighborhood. 

b'umucl J. Patterson, the eldest son, lives on his farm ad- 
joining the city, where he has lived for the last thirty-five 
years, and near his old mill, where he carried on milling for 
many years. This mill was originally built by his father-in- 
law, Isaac Wilson, and was the first built in the new pur- 
chase. It has been abandoned for some years, and the water 
power, which was so valuable, turned and used in the mill 
near the west end of Washington street. 

Elliott M. Patterson, the second son, and as noble hearted 
a man as ever lived, was killed in Green County, in 1851, by 
being thrown from a wagon while the horses were running 
away. He lived but a few hours after being found. 

Calvin Fletcher. 121 

Madison, the third son, is the present engineer and sur 
veyor for the city. He has been engaged in this business for 
nearly thirty years, and is very proficient in that line. 

James M. Patterson, the fourth son, was, for many years, 
engaged in the livery business. In the year 1802 he fell 
from his chair and expired in a few moments. He was sitting 
at his stable door, apparently in good health. It was thought 
he died of apoplexy. There are two of Robert Patterson's 
daughters yet living, one the wife of the Hon. David 3Iacy, 
President of the Peru and Indianapolis llailroad, and one of 
our most enterprising citizens. The other is the wife of James 
L. Southard, secretary of the company above referred to. 

Ilobert Patterson was for many years Probate and Associ- 
ate Judge of the county. He has done a great deal of work 
on the National road and canals. He also had the contract 
for delivering the laws to the different county seats. This 
was before we had railroads, and wagons were brought into 
requisition. He brought the first pair of mill-stones that 
came to the new purchase, in 1821, for the mill built by Isaac 
Wilson, and owned by his son, Samuel J. Patterson, for sev- 
eral years. 


The first lawyer that came to this place, about the middle 
of August, 182 L He was a native of Vermont, and there 
educated. His first residence in the West was at Urbana, 
Ohio, where he taught school, and studied law with James 
Cooley, an eminent and distinguished lawyer of that place, and 
for whom he named his first child, James Cooley Fletcher, 
who is the present Consul to Brazil. 

Mr. Fletcher and his young wife came by way of Winches- 
ter and down AVhite river in a small two-horse wagon that 
contained all his worldly goods. There was a cabin stood 
near my father's, a man named Winslow had raised and cov- 

122 Early Beminiscenses. 

ered. but uo floor was made ; a door was cut out, and a place 
for a chimuey. My father advised him to take possession of 
it, as it was not likely the owner would ever use it, it being 
understood he had declined moving to the place since it had 
proved so sickly. This cabin was situated about the middle 
of the square between the Canal and West street, and Wash- 
ington and Maryland streets. It was here Mr. Fletcher lived 
the first year of his residence in Indianapolis, and until Mr. 
Blake had built a small one-story frame house (the first in 
the place) about the middle of the square on the south side 
of Washington, between Illinois and Tennessee streets ; in 
this house his first two children, James and Elijah, were 

After the death of my father Mr. Fletcher borrowed of my 
mother a horse for the purpose of attending court at Pen- 
dleton. While in his possession the animal foundered so bad 
that he died. 31r. F. bought of Mr. Blake the only horse in 
the settlement, that was for sale, to replace the one that had 
died. This was not so good a horse as the one he had got of 
my mother. Said he, " When your daughter is old enough, 
and is married, I may be able to give her a better horse and 
(pointing to the babe in my mother's lap,) when she is mar- 
ried I will give her one also." Both of those pledges he 
faithfully kept, the latter twenty-five years after it was made, 
thus giving three horses for one. 

3Ir. Fletcher was the first Prosecuting Attorney for this 
Judicial Circuit, and when practicing before magistrates had 
frequently to explain the law both for and against his client 
as was the case I have referred to on another page, where 
Esquire Basey was in favor of sending a horse-thief direct to 
the penitentiary without troubling the higher court with the 

Mr. F. was elected senator for the district composed of the 
counties of Marion, Madison, and Hamilton ; and it was while 

Calvin Fletcher. 123 

a senator he first met in that body that irritable old bachelor 
and Irishman, "John Ewing, of Knox."' 

Mr. Fletcher was quick to discover the weak points in Mr. 
Ewing's character, and amused himself and the Senate often 
by attacking them. Mr. Ewing was one of the most talented 
men of the Senate, and had been very overbearing toward his 
associates, but had never met his match in wit and sarcasm 
until he met the " Yankee poney," as he called Mr. Fletcher. 

Many a practical joke did he play upon his associates at 
the bar while traveling the circuit. On one occasion himself, 
Harvey Gregg and Hiram Brown were going to attend the 
Johnson Circuit Court ; Mr. Brown wore a very high-crowned 
hat, which Mr. Fletcher said resembled a North Carolina tar 
bucket. At or near Greenwood Mr. Brown stopped a few 
minutes, while Messrs. Fletcher and Gregg rode on. They 
had not gone far when they met a traveler ; said Mr. Fletcher 
to him, " you will meet a man riding a white horse, tell him 
we have found the tar bucket;" and so he told every person 
they met between that and Franklin, and by the time Mr. 
Brown reached the latter place he had been told at least a 
dozen times that they had found the tar bucket, which an- 
noyed him very much. 

Mr. Fletcher was a successful practitioner of the law for 
about thirty years. His unequalled success was as much the 
result of his close application and attention to the business 
intrusted to his care as to his talent ; he was, during nearly the 
whole time he practiced, the collecting lawyer for Eastern 
merchants throughout the State, This great business he got 
through the influence of his friend, the late Nicholas 3Ic- 

At the time Mr. F. first came to Indianapolis there was a 
strong prejudice existing among the people against the Yan- 
kees (as all Eastern people were called), but he soon over- 
came this by his disposition to suit himself to the times, and 

124 Early Reminiscences. 

taking a deep iutcrest in the welfare and success of all the 
settlers, and his attention to them in that trying time, when 
nearly every family was helpless by sickness. 

As I have said before, he was worth but little in property 
when he first came to this place, but he brought with hira 
that which afterwards made him a fortune, and one for all his 
numerous family, i. c, perseverance, industry and economy. 
At the time of his death, 18G7, he owned and managed some 
of the finest farms in this and the adjoining counties, and I 
have been told that the immediate cause of his death was 
over-exertion on one of them. One of Mr. F.'s maxims, and 
by which he was governed, was never to leave until to-morrow 
that which could be done to-day. 

The first night he spent in Indianapolis was under my 
father's roof; and he was for many years after the death of 
my father the friendly adviser of our family. 

About the time of his death it was said that he came to 
this place a laborer; this was not true; to my certain know- 
ledge he never did a day's work for any other person but him- 
self, save in a professional way, or assisting at house-raisings 
or log-rollings, after he came to this place. 

Mr. F. has several sons residing in the city and county, all 
of whom inherit the leading traits of their father's character. 

lie was a contributor to, and for, the erection of nearly 
every church built in the city, from the beginning up to the 
time of his death. He ever took great interest in Sunday 
Schools, and was fur many years the Superintendent of one. 
Such was Calvin Fletcher. 


Anion"" the early settlers of Indianapolis, and one of those 
entitled to notice, is Andy Smith. He came here in 1822, a 
mere boy, in search of work. His father, at that time, lived 
on White lliver, north of this place, and near the residence 

Andreto Smith. 125 

of the Conners. He afterwards removed to near the bluflfs, 
and adjoining his old Whitewater neighbor, Jacob Whetzel, 
where he resided many years before his death. His son 
Kobert now owns his homestead, and lives there, and is a near 
neighbor of Cyrus Whetzel. 

Andy did not make his father's house his home much after 
they came to the " New Purchase." His first work in Indi- 
anapolis was for Thomas M. Smith, and then, for several 
years, he lived with and worked for General Hanna. It was 
during this time, and on the third of July, 1830 (the fourth 
being Sunday), while firing the cannon, that he lost his left 
arm by a premature discharge. Mr. Smith had admonished 
those engaged with him that the gun was becoming too hot, 
and in five minutes after, and while General Hanna was 
standing on the table, singing his favorite song, "The Liberty 
Tree," and which he used to sing on all public occasions, the 
discharge took place that robbed him of an arm. 

Andy afterwards married the niece of the General and 
daughter of Mr. John Hanna, of this county. He was for 
many years, nearly a quarter of a century, a deputy sherifi", 
sometimes buying the business from the sheriff elect. 

Twenty-five years ago Andy might have been seen at al- 
most any hour of the day on Washington street, with his 
book under his arm, filled with divers writs, summons, execu- 
tions and all kinds of legal documents that pertain to a sher- 
iff's duties, and calculated to intimidate debtors as well as 
culprits, and there were but few that cared to meet Andy, lest 
he might have something for them. 

Although he had but one arm and a half and but one hand, 
he did not seem afraid to arrest the most daring criminal ; 
and with this one hand he could use the ax as dexterously as 
most persons could with two. 

Andy is now one of our prosperous farmers of Lawrence 
township, in the north part of the county, near the Peru rail- 

126 Early Reminiscences. 


"Was among those citizens that came to this place in the 
winter of 1821-22, and the second cabinet maker that cast 
his lot with the hardy pioneers of Indianapolis. He was an 
Irishman by birth, and the second one of his countrymen to 
make this place his home, and an honest, upright man, and 
in his every-day deportment seemed that he would rather suf- 
fer a wrong himself than do a neighbor an injury. 

Mr. Duke was fond of fun and enjoyed a joke. It was he 
that induced the blessed Ingins to pay a visit to the tonsorial 
establishment of "Fancy Tom," an account of which will be 
found in a subsequent sketch. 

He brought the first "hearse" to this place in 1824. To 
describe this vehicle is entirely out of my power; like a 
gentleman of Lafayette, my friend E. J. Peck tells of, in a 
similar situation, for the want of language to describe some- 
thing he had seen, he said that " there was not language in 
the whole English '•vochuluary^ to give an idea of it;" I never 
saw anything like it before nor since ; it was enough to give 
a well man a sinking chill to see Mr. Duke, with his old grey 
horse in the thills, on the way to the grave-yard. Perhaps the 
worthy undertaker had an increase of business in view when 
he purchased it, as an experiment of the effect it would have 
upon the mortality of the people. 

Mr. Duke died several years since. He has several child- 
ren yet residing in the city ; one is the wife of David Lang, 
a well known carpenter and builder, who has also been a cit- 
izen of the city near forty years. He is an honest, upright 
Scotchman, content to attend to his own business and let 
others do the same. 

Forty-five years have come and passed away since the first 
hearse was brought to this place, and now we have in its stead 
those elegant vehicles of that kind of Messrs. Weaver, Long 

Incidents of 1821 and 1822. 127 

and Williams, which look as though they intended that our 
last ride, though a silent, should be a stylish one. 

In the undertakers' establishments of the gentlemen above 
named the most fastidious, who wish to '• shuffle off this mor- 
tal coil," can be suited and fitted, for in them 

"Coffins stand round like opnn presses 
That show the dead in their last dresses." 

INCIDENTS OF 1821 AND 1822. 

The first dance of any kind that came off in Indianapolis 
with perhaps the exception of that of the war or scalp dance 
of the tawny Delaware or dusky Pottawattamie, was at the 
double cabin of John Wyaut, in December, 1821, on the bank 
of White River, near where Kingan's pork house no stands. 

Mr. Wyant had invited the entire dancing population of the 
" new settlement," men, women and children. The father and 
mother of the writer were there, as well as himself. Indeed 
there was but little of a public nature in Indianapolis at that 
early day that I did not see, although there were many pri- 
vate transactions that I did not witness for the want of an 
invitation, but I have heard considerable about them since. 

There was a charge of twenty-five cents admittance for each 
male adult that attended this "gathering;" this charge was 
to furnish the fluids, which was the only costly article used 
on those occasions. 

The guests had began to arrive, and while the landlord was 
in "t'other house," as the second cabin was called, my father 
(having been educated in a different school of etiquette from 
that of Mr. Wyaut) thought it but politeness to invite Mrs. 
Wyant with him to open and put the ball in motion, which 
she gracefully accepted, and they were, with others, going it 
in fine style when the landlord returned. He at once com- 
manded the music (which was being drawn from the bowels 

12S Early Reminiscences. 

of a dilapidated looking fiddle by the late Colonel A. W. Rus- 
sell) to stop, which order was instantly obeyed. 

Mr. "NVyant said, that " as far as himself and wife were con- 
cerned, they were capable of and able to do their own danc- 
ing, and that he thought it would look better for every man 
to dance with his own wife ; those that had no w ife could 
dance with the ' gals.' " This order, as far as Mr. and Mrs. 
Wyant were concerned, was strictly adhered to and faithfully 
carried out the balance of the night. When the guests were 
ready to leave, at dawn of day, Mr. and Mrs. AVyant were 
still "bobbing around" together, oblivious to surrounding 
circumstances, and seemed highly delighted with each other's 

The second marriage in the " new purchase " was early in 
the year 1S22, that of Uriah Gates to Miss Patsy Chiun, 
daughter of Thomas Chinn, Esq. Mr. Chinn lived on the 
north bank of Pogue's creek, near the residence of the late 
Governor Noble ; he lived in a " double cabin," one of which 
was very large, the other was of the ordinary size, about eigh- 
teen by twenty feet square. In the latter room was a dirt 
floor ; in this room the dinner table was made the day preced- 
ing the wedding. The table was made by driving forked 
poles into the ground of sufficient height and number ; on 
these upright poles others were laid the length of the room ; 
on these last poles puncheons were laid crosswise, which con- 
stituted the table. 

The invited guests began to arrive on the morning of the 
wedding about nine o'clock ; the large cabin was being pretty 
well filled ; the elder ladies came for the purpose of assisting 
Mrs. Chinn in the culinary department, the younger ones for 
dancing, so soon as the marriage ceremony should be per- 
formed. As the two rooms were already occupied, the bride 
had t(j make her toilet in the smoke house, where she re- 
ceived the bridcjirroom and his retinue. 

Incidents of 1821 and 1822. 129 

About half past ten o'clock they were seen winding their 
way up the bank of Pogue's creek, and met the bride and her 
next friend in the house indicated above. 

About eleven o'clock, and after it was known that the 
'Squire had arrived, they came forth from the smoke house 
and went to the large cabin, where they were made man and 
wife with the shortest number of words the 'Squire had at his 
command to perform the ceremony. 

Then the older guests and the bride and groom were invi- 
ted to the dinner cabin. As I was more deeply interested in 
this part of the programme I went along as a spectator and 
to reconnoiter, and to take a peep at the good things in store 
for me at the proper time. 

On either end of the table was a large, fat wild turkey, still 
hot and smoking as when taken from the clay oven in which 
they were roasted ; in the middle of the table and midway 
between the turkeys was a fine saddle of venison, part of a 
buck killed the day before by Mr. Chinn expressly for the 
occasion. The spaces between the turkeys and venison were 
filled with pumpkin, chicken and various other kinds of pies ; 
from the side-table or puncheon Mrs. Chinn, assisted by the 
old ladies, was issuing coffee, which was taken from a large 
sugar-kettle that was hanging over the fire ; by the side of 
the tin coffee pot on this side table was a large tin pan filled 
with maple sugar, and a gallon pitcher of delicious cream. 

Although there was no great display of silver or China 
ware on that rude table, there was all that the most fastidious 
appetite could desire, and even at this day it might be con- 
sidered "a dainty dish to set before a king." The dessert and 
pastry was got up without the aid of a " French cook." Such 
was the first fashionable wedding-dinner in Indianapolis. 

While the first party invited to the table were engaged in 
stowing away its contents and complimenting the bride and 

130 Early Reminiscences, 

groom, those in the marriage room were " tripping the light 
fantastic toe " to the tune of " Leather Breeches." 

After the bride and groom had left the table they were in- 
vited to join in (as Beau Hickman would say) the festivities 
of the occasion. The bridegroom excused himself, as he had 
no " ear for music or foot for dancing, but was ready for fan 
in any other shape that might be offered." 

The dancing was continued for two days and nights after 
the wedding. I remember that my father and mother came 
home after daylight the second day, slept until the afternoon, 
then went back and put in another night. 

It may be proper to say that farmer Tom Johnson was 
conspicuous among the guests at this wedding, and never did 
his curls that hung down on his cheeks, and his white linen 
pantaloons with black ribbon drawstrings at the bottom, tied 
in a bow knot, appear to a better advantage than they did on 
this occasion ; although Tom had not yet seen a " Pnrranner^'' 
he seemed to enjoy the music and dancing, 

Mr. Gates died but a few years since ; he was the father of 
Mr. John Gates, the well known and popular blacksmith of 
our city. 

On the morning of the fourth of July, 1822, my father's 
family was aroused before daylight by persons hallooing in 
front of our door. It turned out to be Captain James Richey, 
who lived near the Bluffs, and a young man and lady that had 
placed themselves under the Captain's charge and ran away 
from obdurate parents for the purpose of being married. Mr. 
Ilichey was not slow in making known to my father what they 
wanted, and intimated that, " what it were well to do, 'twere 
well it were done quickly. ' He and my father soon found 
the county clerk (the venerable James 31. Ray) at Carter's 
Rosebush Tavern, and procured the necessary legal document, 
and the services of Judge Wni. W. Wick, and before break- 
i'ast the two were made one. 

IncuJents of 1821 and 1822. 131 

They had scarcely arose from the breakfast table before tlie 
young lady was confronted by her angry father. Captain 
Richey informed him that he was just a few minutes too late, 
and that he had not lost " a darter," as he supposed, but had 
gained a son, and that when old Jim Richey undertook to do 
anything, he did it with all his might, and accomplished his 

The parties were reconciled and invited to attend the bar- 
becue and ball that was to take place that day, which they 

This was the first fourth of July celebration in Indianap- 
olis ; the barbecue was in the middle of Washington street, 
just west of the Canal. A fine buck had been killed the day 
before by Robert Harding, and was roasted whole, and was 
partaken of by the entire population of the town and sur- 
rounding country. 

After dinner the people were entertained by a teamster from 
Dayton, Ohio, who dressed himself in fantastic or clownish 
style, singing comic songs and in various other ways amusing 
the people. This was the first clown that performed in pub- 
lic in this place, although we have had them by hundreds 
since in our legislative halls, courts of justice, and political 

Soon after the clown Avas through with his performance the 
dancing commenced in a large, unfinished frame building on 
the north side of Washington street, near where the barbecue 
was, and continued until some time on the fifth. This was 
the first public dinner and ball in Indianapolis. 

In writing these incidents my object is to show the great 
diff"erencc, and contrast the customs of the early citizens of 
this place with those of the present day, and the variety of 
character found among the early citizens. 

I have recurred so often lately to those early scenes in the 
history of this city, that it has led me to ask myself the ques- 

132 Early Reminiscences. 

tion and inquire where was there contentment and true happi- 
ness found if not in the pioneers of Indianapolis? 

There was no finely decorated halls then as now, no cornet 
or fine string bands to pour fourth their melodious strains of 
music, no tine carriages, with drivers in livery, to take the 
ladies to the dance, no kid gloves or paper-collared gentlemen 
to help them in and out of the carriage, no white-aproned 
servants to hand them the iced custards and creams. 

They were content then to dance in the log cabin, on a pun- 
cheon floor ; were glad of an opportunity of listening to the 
musical strains of Champ Helvey, drawn from a three-string 
fiddle ; were happy to be able to walk to the place barefoot 
and save their shoes for dancing; they were rejoiced to meet 
Tom Johnson there with his beautiful curls and white pants; 
and when they were hungry were able to help themselves to 
the chicken pie or roast venison. 

Then, when merry autumn came with its profusion of mel- 
low richness, its luxuriant and happy associations, and above 
all, the bountiful supply of the productions of the soil to 
gladden the hearts of man and beast, would the hardy pio- 
neers assemble together, and, with their families, celebrate 
the end of the summer's toil and labor in the manner des- 
cribed in this sketch. 

These cabins were scattered over a radius of two miles, and 
their location was only known to the weary traveler as he 
journeyed along the lonely Indian trace, by the slowly and 
lazily rising wreaths of blue smoke that here and there curled 
above the trees of the dense forests that once stood where 
now stands this beautiful city. This was all that marked the 
presence of man. 

I would ask the " old settlers " of Indianapolis, especially 
those that were here at the time I am writing of, were not 
these primitive their happiest days in this city? 

Since I commenced writing these sketches I have been, in 

Wil/ccs Beagan. 133 

imagination, carried back so often to those days that I have 
wished myself a boy again. 

"When bright dreams of my childhood, fair scenes of my youth, 
So laden with visions of friendship and truth ; 
And when come the dark hours of sadness and pain, 
There memory illumes my pathway again." 


Was the first man that essayed to carry on the butchering bu- 
siness in Indianapolis, or to offer fresh meat for sale in a pub- 
lic market. His slaughter house was on the bank of Pogue's 
Creek, between New Jersey and East streets ; it was without 
floor, roof, or sides, and consisted of two posts, about twelve 
feet long, planted upright in the ground, and about seven feet 
apart; two others running from the top of the first to the 
ground, slanting or obliquely ; between these posts he would 
kill the bullock or beef, and when ready for hoisting, with the 
aid of two forked poles and his neighbors, would push it up 
the slanting poles for cooling preparatory for market. 

Mr. Reagan slaughtered but once a week, and in the sum- 
mer time would have to select very small animals, lest a por- 
tion should remain on hand, after the market was supplied, 
and spoil ; the hide and tallow was the only portion that 
would command cash ; the fore quarter was sold at from one 
to one and a half cents, and the hind quarter at from one and 
a half to two cents per pound on credit, and the way those 
bills were paid was in stock for slaughter, such as the custo- 
mer might have to dispose of; for instance, if a bill should 
be seventy-five cents or one dollar, it would require a sheep to 
liquidate the debt ; if from one fifty to two dollars and fifty 
cents, it would take a good sized, fat hog; if from three to 
four dollars, a young steer or heifer; and if it should have 
run up to six or eight dollars, a large cow or bullock " would 
fill the bill." 

134 Early Reminiscences. 

lu this way did Mr. Reagan carry on the butchering busi- 
ness for several years, using less money in one year than either 
II. D. Davis, of the Union Meat Market, Andy Gass, Richard 
Essick, or the Messrs. Roos would in one day at the present 

lu the winter season he would have shooting matches. The 
beef would be put up at so much a shot for first choice of the 
fjuartcrs, there being five quarters to a beef, the hide and tal- 
low constituting the fifth, and always the first choice. A win- 
ner would often put up the same quarter to be shot for again, 
unless it should be the fifth ; and not unfrequently after shoot- 
ing all day for a beef, the butcher would have the largest por- 
tion of it at night ready for the morning market, and would 
appear with it at his shed on the northwest corner of Wash- 
ington and Delaware streets, with his books, ready to supply 
his customers on credit, at prices and payable as above stated. 

In after years the worthy butcher added to his business 
that of magistrate, and dispensed justice with as much alac- 
rity as he ever dispatched a bullock, never failing to find so 
much for plaintiflf, and costs, as was the wont and practice of 
our early justices of the peace, thereby increasing litigation 
and business for themselves — unlike my Teuton friend and 
magistrate, Charles Coulon, in assault and battery cases fine 
both parties, and costs accordingly. 

3Ir. Reagan removed from this place to Evansville, where 
some of his children yet reside. 


Was a large, fine-looking man, and a pompous Kentuckian, 
full of braggadocio, frequently using language that neither 
himself nor any one else understood the application he in- 
tended, although found in the English " vocabulary." 

He was a candidate for clerk of the county at the first elec- 
tion in 1822, and was a standing candidate for years for any 

Jolm W, Reddwfj. 135 

office that might be to fill by the people ; he was a member 
of the Baptist church, and would not think he was violating 
any of his religious obligations if, on public occasions, he 
should take "a drop too much," and would frequently do so 
when the occasion was not so public. 

Doctor L. Dunlap had a patient at his house, which was 
directly at the south-east end of Virginia avenue. The Doc- 
tor had visited his patient late in the evening and had almost 
despaired of his recovery, but requested 3Ir. Redding to call 
at his office in the morning and let him know how his patient 

Accordingly, Mr. Redding called at the Doctor's office the 
next morning and said that " after he left the evening before 
the patient threw up from the concavity of his stomach a 
concave three inches in length, and from that moment he re- 
lapsed and was much better, and that his body congealed 
sweat until the bed was wet with the water that was exhausted 
from his system." 

Mr. Reddino; was amonii the first to volunteer in the defense 
of his country in that terrible campaign of the " bloody three 
hundred " in 1832, and aff'orded a great deal of fun for his 
comrades by his high-flown language in military parlance. 

As far as the acquaintances of Mr. Redding were concerned 
they were willing to bury his faults with him ; they were ra- 
ther of the head than the heart, and there were none to har- 
bor malice against him after death. 

After his death, which occurred about the year ISoG, his 
family returned to Kentucky. The farm he owned has lately 
been sold for near one thousand dollars per acre, which was 
purchased by Wm. S. Hubbard and others, with the intention 
of making an addition to the city. 

136 Early Itcniimscenccs. 


This eccentric gentleman was a native of the State of Dela- 
ware, a lawyer by profession, though he did but little in that 
line after he came to this place, except as a justice of the 
peace. He became a citizen of Indianapolis late in the fall 
of 1821. He was then a single man, but on the bachelor 
order, and kept " Bachelor's Hall " for some years. He re- 
sided on the north side of Washington, east of the alley, be- 
tween Delaware and Pennsylvania streets. 

Soon after he was eligible he was elected a magistrate, which 
office he held until he died, September, 1833. 

On one occasion he was ploughing in his corn field, in the 
north part of the donation, when a couple came to him and 
wished him to go to his ofl&ce for the purpose of uniting them 
in marriage. He inquired if they had the license with them, 
and being answered in the affirmative, he called a man who 
was ploughing in an adjoining field as a witness; he then or- 
dered the bride and groom to stand up in the fence corner, 
and there he performed the ceremony; after which he gave 
instructions to the groom more pointed than classic. 

Mr. Foote was a man of more than ordinary native, as well 
as acquired ability, and possessed a large fund of general in- 

His first wife was the eldest daughter of Luke Walpole ; 
they had one child, a son, who is named for the father ; he 
now resides in Paris, Illinois. His second wife was a widow 
Davis. They also had one child, a daughter, who is now the 
wife of Mr. Frederick Baggs, a gentleman well known in the 
business and social circles of this city. 

Mrs. Baggs is the half or step-sister of Mrs. McCready, 
wife of James McCready, once the Mayor of this city. 

Mr. Foote died in the prime of life, and long before this 
city assumed to be anything more than a country village. 

Hon. WUUam W. WicL 137 


The first judge of the Fifth (this) Judicial Circuit, was a 
Pennsylvanian by birth and education, but had lived a short 
time at Connersville, in Fayette County, previous to coming 
to this place in February, 1822. 

Judge Wick was a tall, fine-looking man in his younger 
days, as straight as an arrow, firm, elastic step, large, full eye, 
hair as black as a raven, dark complexion, very neat in his 
dress, his whole contour was that of a gentleman, and denoted 
intelligence of a superior order. 

As a judge he was popular with the bar, and they are sup- 
posed to be the proper judges of that qualification. As a law- 
yer he also stood high ; and as a man, was respected by his 
neighbors and acquaintances. 

He served several years as judge of this district, during 
which time he was elected Brigadier General of the State Mi- 
litia, then Prosecuting Attorney, one term as Secretary of 
State, and to represent this Congressional District in 1840, 
and it was during the delivery of a speech while a member of 
this Congress he pledged himself to eat a horse should Indi- 
ana vote for General Harrison — this pledge he never kept, as 
the writer of these sketches won a fancy horse on that elec- 
tion and tendered the judge for the purpose of redeeming 
his pledge ; but he declined, as the kind I off'ered was not in- 
tended by him, being rather tough. 

He was also a member of Congress during the last two 
years of Mr. Polk's administration, and Postmaster of this 
city during the entire term of President Pierce, which I think 
was the last ofiicial position he held. The last few years of 
his life he resided with his daughter at Franklin, in Johnson 
County, where he died in the year 1868. He left many friends 
throughout the entire State, and no enemies. In all the rela- 
tions of life Judge Wick was kind and affable. 

138 Early Reminiscences. 


The first Sheriff of Marion County, was a native of Cincin- 
nati, Ohio, born in that place when it was called Fort Wash- 
ington, in the year 1795. His father was "Master of Trans- 
portation," during the Indian War, under Generals Wayne 
and Harmar, and chiefly engaged in forwarding provisions 
and munitions of war from the frontier posts to the army in 
the wilderness. 

At that time it was an unbroken wilderness from " Old Fort 
Washington " (now Cincinnati) to Detroit, in Michigan Ter- 

AVhen Mr. Bates was quite young, not more than five or six 
years of age, he lost his mother ; his father married again' 
and he, failing (as most children do) to find a true one in the 
person of the step-mother, left the paternal roof and launched 
his bark npon the broad ocean of life, as it were, without sail 
or rudder. 

At the age of six years he went to Lebanon, Warren County, 
Ohio, where he met with friends and received a fair English 
education, at least sufficient to fit and qualify him for the or- 
dinary pursuits of life at that earl}^ day. 

About the time that he had attained his majority he came 
to Brookville, Franklin County, where he met with and was 
married to 3Iiss Sidney Sedgwick, a cousin of General James 
Noble, United States Senator, and the late Governor Noah 
Noble, and thus far, like John Anderson and his worthy 
spouse, have have glided down the stream of time together. 
At Brookville, in 1816, he cast his first vote for a delegate 
to form a constitution for the new State of Indiana. 

Soon after Mr. B.'s marriage he removed to Connersville, 
where he remained until February, 1822, when he came to 
where this city now stands. 

Jonathan Jennings, who was the first Governor after the 

Harvey Bates. 139 

State was admitted into the Union, had appointed William W. 
Wick President Judge of this (the fifth) Judicial District, 
and Harvey Bates Sheriff of Marion County, which then em- 
braced several of the surrounding counties for judicial pur- 
poses, investing Mr. Bates with the power of putting the ne- 
cessary legal machinery of the county in motion. 

This he did by issuing a proclamation for an election to be 
held on the first day of April for the purpose of electing a 
clerk of the court and other county officers, which was the 
first election of any kind held in the " new purchase." 

At the October election Mr. Bates was chosen and elected 
sheriff for the regular term of two years, after which he re- 
fused to be a candidate again. He did not seem to partake 
of the love of office, or had not the taste for public prefer- 
ment thas was peculiar to others hailing from the same sec- 
tion he did. 

After the term of office for which he was elected expired, 
he entered into mercantile and other pursuits more congenial 
to his feelings. In all his business enterprises he brought 
great energy and industry, which is very nearly always re- 
warded by success, as was the case with him. He seemed to 
think with Richelieu, and acted upon the principle that "In 
the bright lexicon of youth there was no such word as fail." 
He possessed in an eminent degree the main springs to pros- 
perity and success — integrity, industry and economy — without 
which but few succeed. 

Mr. Bates was the first and for ten years President of the 
" Branch of the State Bank," located in this place, and no 
institution of the kind, either in or out of the State, was more 
successful, not only for the bank, but beneficial to the busi- 
ness and trading part of the community while under his man- 
agement. Indeed it was through the help and assistance of 
the Bank that most of the surplus produce of this and several 
of the adjoining counties was able to reach a market. I have 

140 Early Reminiscences. 

known that bank to withhold discounts from our merchants 
and best business men of the city that they might be the more 
able to accommodate the produce dealers, and thereby assist 
the farmer, keep the money in the hands of our own citizens 
and benefit the whole country. This wise and judicious course 
of the bank, qf which he w^as the principal, was a lasting ben- 
efit to the producers of the county, which should long be re- 
membered by them. 

lie was instrumental in getting up the first insurance com- 
pany, a stockholder in the first hotel built by a company, the 
first railroad that was finished to this place, the first and only 
gas light and coke company, and indeed nearly every public 
enterprise of the city. 

In 1852 he commenced, and afterwards finished, that large 
and palatial hotel, the " Bates House," at that time one of the 
finest in the West. This house was built at a cost of sixty 
thousand dollars, subsequent improvements making the whole 
cost seventy-five thousand dollars, and could not be built at 
this time for much less than double that amount. 

There are many other business and private buildings scat- 
tered throughout the city that own their existence to the en- 
ergy and means of Mr. Bates. 

lie has ever been a liberal contributor to our religious and 
benevolent institutions ; was a warm friend of Henry Ward 
Beecher during his residence in this city and in his less pros- 
perous days. 

He is now in the seventy-fifth year of his age. and is yet 
quite active for one of his years, retaining a great deal of his 
youthful vivacity and sprightliness, and manifests a disposi- 
tion to make all about him feel* the same w\iy. 

A few months since he and his estimable lady celebrated 
the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage, or " Golden Wed- 
ding;" may they live to celebrate the seventy-fifth, or "Dia- 
mond Wedding," is the sincere wish of their numerous friends 

Douglass Mag aire. 141 

and acquaintances, and " may I be there to see" them, like 
John Anderson and his worthy lady. 

" Now we maun tother down, John, but band in hand we'll go, 
And we'll sleep thegither at the foot, John Anderson, my Jo." 


In connection with Harvey Gregg, started the second news- 
paper in this place, in March, 1823. He had come out from 
Kentucky the year before, and in the spring the first number 
of the " Western Censor and Emigrant's Guide " was issued 
from a house belonging to Mr. Gregg, on the west side of the 
alley on the north side of Washington, between Meridian and 
Pennsylvania streets. 

This paper has been continued ever since under difierent 
names and by many different editors, until now we have it as 
the " Indianapolis Daily Journal," with a large circulation 
throughout the State. 

It started out in opposition to the election of General Jack- 
son to the Presidency in 1824, and has strictly adhered to the 
opposition of the political party that sprung out of his ad- 
ministration ever since. 

Mr. Mau^uire was Ions; the nianas-er and editor of the Jour- 
nal, but during his editorial and newspaper career the busi- 
ness was not so profitable as at the present time ; indeed there 
was but little money in the country to transact business with, 
and people, very foolishly, did without newspapers and ad- 
vertising rather than to incur the expense. 

After he quit the "Journal" he held several offices of profit 
and emolument, both in the gift of the people and the legis- 
lature; was Representative in the Legislature, Auditor of State, 
a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1850 that 
framed the present State Constitution — all of which he filled 
to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. 

In personal appearance Mr. Maguirc was very much like 

142 Early Reminiscences. 

liis personal and political friend Henry Clay, tall and slender, 
with a quick, nervous temperament, and quite excitable. 

In the summer of 1844, and during the Presidential con- 
test between Henry Clay and James K. Polk, Mr. Maguire 
was one of a fishing party of ladies and gentlemen enroute 
for "Broad Ripple," on Bob Earl's canal boat; he and the 
late George Chapman, at that time one of the editors of the 
''Sentinel," got into a controversy in regard to the approaching 
election, and both of them became very much excited. Mr. 
Maguire while gesticulating and stepping back went into the 
canal up to his chin. He was dressed in light, linen clothes, 
which stuck close to his person, and when he was taken on 
board presented a very ludicrous appearance. He remarked 
that Democrats had a right to laugh, but he did not think 
that the Whigs should. 

This coolness in the manner of Mr. Maguire, which was so 
unusual and unexpected in him, caused a roar of laughter in 
which he joined himself, but did not like to have the circum- 
stances referred to after the first burst of laughter was over, 
tiiough there was many a silent titter by both Whigs and Dem- 
ocrats unperceived by him. 

Mr. Maguire took great pleasure in attending Democratic 
ujcetings, and managing to have Governor Ray called on by 
some of the faithful for a speech, well knowing that gentle- 
man's gift of continuance on such occasions, and that he would 
occupy the whole time of the meeting if left alone, such was 
his love of fun. 

He was a kind-hearted and hospitable man, and died in 
1857, regretted by many new friends and all the old settlers 
of this city. He is still represented here in the person of his 
son. who bears his father's name. 

Harvey Gregrj. 143 


I have, in the preceding sketch, referred to Mr. Gregg's 
connection with Mr. Maguire in founding the second newspa- 
per in this pLice, in 1823. He was from New Castle, Henry 
County, Kentucky, a waggish lawyer that stood high in his 
profession. He was the second attorney to make Indianapolis 
his homo. 

Mr. Gregg's first visit to this place was at the first sale of 
town lots, on the ninth of October, 1821. He brought con- 
siderable money with him, principally in gold and silver. Af- 
ter he had paid the first payment on the property he had 
bought he had about two hundred dollars in gold left; this he 
carried in his pocket wrapped in paper. 

One morning he missed his money; it could not be found; 
as he did not remember having it the night before, he came 
to the conclusion that he had dropped it somewhere in the 
woods, as he had been looking at difi'erent pieces of property 
he had bought ; he borrowed money to pay his expenses and 
returned home, not dreaming of ever finding the lost money 
or hearing of it again. The following spring my mother was 
taking up the rag carpet in the room in which Mr. Gregg 
had slept ; her attention was attracted by something bright 
in the corner where he had slept on the floor; on examination 
it turned out to be the gold Mr. Gregg had lost nearly six 
months before ; the paper in which it was wrapped had been 
worn away, and there was the entire amount, somewhat scat- 
tered by being slept on during the time it had been lost. 

My father wrote immediately to Mr. Gregg informing him 
that the money had been found, and where, and received an 
answer that Mr. G. then remembered, for the first time, hav- 
ing placed it under the edge of the carpet when he lay down 
at night, and that he would never have thought again what 
he did with it had it not been brought to his mind by tho 

144 Early Reminiscences. 

maimer in which it was found. Although the house, and, in- 
deed, the whole woods, was thronged with strangers, there 
was not the least suspicion that any person had taken it im- 
properly, or had even found it. Mr. Blake tells me there 
were seventeen persons who slept in that cabin, three in each 
of the three beds, and eight on the floor, with their sad- 
dles for pillows. 

I introduce this incident to show the difference in the mor- 
als of the people then and now. The first thing Mr. Oregg 
would do at this day would be to have the man who slept 
next to him arrested as a pick pocket, and with, perhaps, cir- 
cumstances to sustain the charge. 

Then we had no bars or bolts to our doors and windows, no 
"guardian ancjds" (with blue coats and brass buttons that 
shine so beautiful under the gas light at night, and glitter in 
the sun by day) to watch our persons and property. Were not 
these the days of true happiness and contentment, the good 
old days of Adam and Eve : 

'' When no noise was heard but the birds a singing, 
Except sometimes a cow-bell ringing: 
With a tree here and there for the cattle to get under 
Out of the way of lightning and thunder." 


When I come to speak of my personal friend of forty-seven 
year.^, and one of my first employers as a store-boy, I am re- 
minded of many incidents connected with his long residence 
in this city that would be interesting to the reader, if the space 
would allow and I was able to depict them as they occurred. 

Mr. Landis came to this place early in the spring of 1822, 
a young as well as single man. lie built a cabin on the south 
side of the State House Square, near Mississippi street, and 
there for a year or two dealt out his loet as well as dryware 
of different kinds to the dry and thirsty citizens of the " new 

Jacob Landis, 145 

His house was the scene of many practical jokes, many of 
which have been referred to in other places in this work; and 
sometimes the joke turned upon him, as in this case: 

He had a customer who lived in Urbana, Ohio, a painter 
by trade. This man had managed to get into Mr. Landis' 
debt for solids and liquids to the amount of about ten dollars ; 
he wished to return home for the purpose of seeing friends 
and raising the wherewith to liquidate that for which he had 
already liquored. In order to. raise the ways and means he 
proposed to Mr. L. that if he would furnish him ten dollars 
more he would leave in pledge for the whole amount of in- 
debtedness his box of tools, including his diamond used for 
cutting glass, all of which were very valuable. This propo- 
sition Mr. L. readily acceded to, as it would secure what was 
already due. The honest painter brought the box, neatly 
packed and nailed, with two brushes on the outside. Mr. L. 
advanced the money, and in a few days the painter was enjoy- 
ing the society of kindred and friends. 

Some weeks after a well known citizen, Willis A. Reed, 
wanted to use some sash-tools that could not be had in the 
stores, and knowing that this man had had them, got permis- 
sion of Mr. Landis to open the box and use them. When the 
box was opened a few copies of the "Indianapolis Gazette" 
came first in view, and then about a half-bushel of as fine a 
specimen of White River corn as could be found in the set- 
tlement, but no painter's tools. 

Mr. Landis afterward met him in Cincinnati and charaed 
him with the trick. He again turned the joke on him by 
denying his identity, and saying Mr. Landis was mistaken in 
the man. 

Mr. Landis has held many lucrative and responsible ofiices 
within the gift of the people of the county — such as sheriff 
and collector, county treasurer, etc., and enjoyed the confi- 
dence of the masses to a considerable extent; and, indeed, on 

141) Early liemimscences. 

several occasions has had a fortune within his grasp had he 
looked more to money than to what was just and right ; in fact, 
he never learned to use the adverb which Webster defines 
to mean denial. I have known him, while county treasurer, to 
advance the taxes of his friends, and those that were unable 
to pay, to save their property from sale, and, consequently, 
additional costs, which would come into his pocket. How 
unlike the officers of the present day. Sheriffs then could 
not build a four-story block on the fees of a single terra. 

The writer was for several years employed as a clerk in his 
store, and has known him to let the poor have goods when he 
certainly must have known they were unable, or would be, to 
pay for them ; the consequence is he has yet to continue to 
labor, and does so as much as he did forty-seven years ago; 
and while many have accumulated wealth by grinding and op- 
pressing the poor, Jake Landis has ever been their friend, 
and has carried out the injunction of the Bible more by prac- 
tice than by profession or precept, "Remember the poor." 

Such is our old and esteemed citizen whose name heads this 


We had two Tom Johnsons in early times, farmer Tom and 
tinner Tom — it is the farmer of whom I now write. He came 
with his father in the year 1820, and settled on the quarter- 
section of land adjoining to and east of Camp Morton, or the 
State Fair grounds, and there remained until his death, which 
occurred but a few years ago. 

Tom was one of the leading beaux and gallants of the young 
ladies. He dressed very exquisitely, especially when arrayed 
for church, a dance, or a quilting party. He wore his hair 
curled in front and hanging down on the sides of his face. In 
summer he wore white linen pantaloons with a black ribbon 
drawstring at the bottom, tied with a bow knot. He imagined 

Luke Walpole and Family. 147 

himself very handsome as well as very smart, and was the first 
to call ou the young ladies when they arrived, and never failed 
to let them know that he was the favorite with all that had 
already been here for sometime. 

He called to see a family of several young ladies that had 
arrived, and tried to make himself very agreeable in the way 
of asking questions as well as informing them who were the 
" purtiest and smartest gals in the settlement." Among other 
questions he asked them to let him see their " purranner, as 
he had hern they had one, and that he had never seed one of 
the critters in his whole life." Being informed that it was a 
mistake, and that they did not bring one, he was very much 
disappointed. He said he would like to see a " purranner," 
that " thar was a show come to the settlement, in yonder on 
Whitewater, that had an orging and made nice music." 

Mr. Johnson finally found a young lady, in the person of 
Miss Rody Parr, that suited him and he married her. He was 
for many years one of our most prosperous farmers, and lived 
to see " purranners " manufactured in our city and his farm 
worth five hundred dollars per acre. He was a younger bro- 
ther of Jerry Johnson, and although they were " Tom and 
Jerry," they took their liquor plain. 


The father of the late Thomas D. and Robert L. Walpole 
was from Zanesville, Ohio. He had descended the Muskin- 
gum and Ohio llivers to the mouth of the Wabash, and then 
ascended that stream and White Kivcr to this place in a keel 
boat, arriving here in the summer of 1822. 

His family consisted of fourteen persons, himself and wife, 
four sons and six daughters, a nephew and colored servant, 
Belle ; in addition to his family and household furniture he 
brought on this boat a stock of goods. 

He first lived on the northwest corner of the State House 

148 Early Reminiscences. 

Square, iii a house built by Isaac Wilsou, and referred to iu 
auother sketch, in a cabin, near which he had his store. 

Mr. Walpole having several daughters iu the heyday of life, 
caused a considerable sensation with the young bucks of the 
settlement. It was those ladies Tom Johnson called on and 
requested to see their " purranner." 

The old gentleman was a small, spare-made man, not weigh- 
'u\[l over one hundred pounds apothecaries' weight, if that ; he 
dressed in the old English style, short pants, long stockings, 
and silver shoe buckles, and a coat to suit this style of dress. 

The old lady was not any taller than her liege lord, but was 
considerably larger, and would weigh at least two hundred 
and fifty pounds avoirdupois; their joint weight would not 
be more than that of two ordinary persons, but it was so un- 
equally divided that it would attract attention and sometimes 
draw forth a jocular comment when they would take their 
usual evening walk together. 

The old gentleman enjoyed a joke, even should it be at his 
own expense ; his friends often twitted him with the disparity 
in size between himself and wife; he replied, that in select- 
in<!; a wife he was like he was in buying goods, that when he 
found a good article he wanted a plenty of it. 

Of the fourteen persons that constituted Mr. Walpole's 
family when he first came to this place, but four are living : 
Miss Susan, the second daughter, still resides in this place; 
Mrs. Harriett Quarles is living in Kansas City, Missouri; Mrs. 
Elizabeth Colerick, the fifth, lives in Fort Wayne; the colored 
woman, Belle, still lives with Miss Susan. 

The elder daughter. Miss Ann, was the first wife of Obed 
Foote, Esq. She died many years since, leaving one child 
that bears the father's name, and now lives in Paris, Illinois. 

The third daughter was the wife of Wm. Quarles, an emi- 
nent and early lawyer of this place. Mr. Quarles died in the 
winter of 1849, and although twenty years have elapsed since 

Luke Walpole and Family. 149 

his death, she yet mourns his loss as if of but a few days — a 
rare thing in women. 

Miss Mary, the fourth, died some three or four years since. 
Miss Elizabeth, the fifth, is the present wife of the Hon. Da- 
vid Colerick, of Fort Wayne. 

The sixth daughter, named — I think — Margaret, died a few 
years after they came to this place. 

Edward, the oldest son, went south about the year 182-1, 
and there remained. He at one time was very wealthy, but I 
understand he lost the most of it before his death, which oc- 
curred several years since. 

Thomas D. Walpole, the second son, and at present remem- 
bered by most of the citizens of this city, was a most extra- 
ordinary man. With nothing more than a common English ed- 
ucation, he studied law with his brother-in-law, Wm. Quarles, 
Esq. Mr. Quarles informed us that, before he had half fin- 
ished his studies, he went to Greenfield, Hancock County, and 
there commenced the practice. He at once became popular 
as a man and quite successful as a lawyer. He has often told 
me that he would never let a judge try a case when he could 
get a Hancock jury; "then," said he, "I cared not who was 
the opposing counsel." 

He was State Senator from the counties of Hancock and 
Madison several years , also. Representative from Hancock ; 
indeed, in those counties he was invincible before the people. 

In 1840 he was an ardent and enthusiastic Whig, and ren- 
dered great service to the Whig party, and contributed largely 
to the success of General Harrison. It was during this can- 
vass that Tom gave to the Democratic party their emblem, 
which they have claimed ever since, the chicken cock, or 
rooster. George Patterson, then editing the Democratic pa- 
per, wrote, just before the August election of that year, to 
Joseph Chapman, of Greenfield, that the Democratic party 
would be beat, and that there was no hope, but, said he, " crow? 

150 Early Reminiscences. 

Chapman, crow." By some means Tom got possession of the 
letter and exposed it. A year or two subsequent to this cir- 
cumstance 3Iessrs. George and Page Chapman became propri- 
etors and editors of the Democratic paper and phiced a roos- 
ter at the head of their paper, and from that circumstance it 
was generally supposed that they were the persons to whom the 
letter was addressed and the original crowers : but such is 
not the case. It is to Tom Walpolc the Democratic party is 
indebted for the emblem of the rooster. 

Tom was a great wag, and many was the prank he played 
upon his friends as well as enemies. During the 3Iexican 
war he procured a blank colonel's commission by some means 
from the War Department at Washington. This he caused 
to be filled up with the name of Joseph Chapman, of Han- 
cock County (the same Chapman referred to above), with in- 
structions to raise a regiment of volunteers and proceed direct 
to the seat of war in Mexico. This he caused to be mailed 
to " Colonel Joseph Chapman, Greenfield, Indiana." Imme- 
diately on receipt of this Mr. Chapman mounted his horse 
(there were no railroads then) and came to Indianapolis and 
direct to Governor Whitcomb for instructions how to proceed. 
After the Governor had examined the commission and instruc- 
tions, he remarked to Mr. Chapman that he thought he was 
the victim of a playful hoax. "Yes," said Mr. Chapman. 
" It is that Tom Walpole ; can I ever get rid of that fellow, 
he has dogged me since he first got hold of that crowing let- 

Nor was Mr. Chapman the only one that had received a 
commission in this way. Colonel Nineveh Berry, of Ander- 
son, also received one with similar instructions. 

Colonel Berry, I understand, at once established recruit- 
ing headquarters, with the United States flag unfurled, and 
drum and fife constantly playing at the door, and had actu- 
ally received some volunteers, and did not find out the joke 

Luke Walpole and Family. 151 

until it was discovered by Mr. Chapman. Were I to attempt 
to give half the jokes and pranks of Tom, it would fill this 

He was a man of great native ability, a fine speaker, and 
set out in life with an ambition and determination worthy of a 
brilliant career and sequel. He had plucked the flower, but 
threw it withered at his feet. 

Tom was my early school-mate and ever my personal friend, 
and in this sketch I have endeavored to do him, as well as 
his father's family, justice ; if I have failed it is an error of 
my head, and not of my heart. 

The third son of the family, Robert L. Walpole, died about 
two years since, an old bachelor. In his early life he had 
followed merchandizing with but little success, and after that 
studied law and practiced with success, at least so far as the 
accumulation of property was concerned. His ability as a 
lawyer consisted in his ever watching the mistakes of the op- 
posing counsel, the quirks and turns of law, and any advan- 
tage that might be thrown in his way. These are my own 
opinions, and I think the most of the present bar of Indian- 
apolis will sustain me in them. 

John, the fourth son, and last of the family that I notice, 
w^as a young man of more than ordinary promise. When 
quite young he went to Fort Wayne and there finished the 
study of the law that he had commenced in this place with 
his brother-in-law, William Quarles, and then commenced 
with a fine prospect of success in the profession, but was 
stricken down by death quite young, before his early promise 
had ripened, and ere he had reached the meridian of life. 

As a family there w\as none ever lived in Indianapolis that 
was more respected, nor none that ever came to the place that 
created at the time such a sensation as the Walpoles. They 
had brought a large, old-fashioned sideboard, which was boxed 
up in such a way as might be readily taken for a piano. The 

152 Early lUminiscences. 

late Calvin Fletcher, knowing the great curiosity of the peo- 
ple, especially the young men. to know everything pertaining 
to the " new comers," and seeing an opportunity to have some 
fun, informed the young men that they certainly had a piano, 
as there was no other kind of furniture that would require 
a box of that shape. All the young men were quick to call 
on the young ladies and tried to get a peep at the instrument; 
none, however, made their business known except i'armer Tom 
Johnson, who had never "seed a purranner." 

The great verdancy on the part of the " young bucks " 
caused the young ladies a great deal of merriment, and they 
gave each a fancy name, a few only of which I now remem- 
ber. "Oyster Tongs," "Tallow Face," " 3Iutton Head," 
"Simon Shears," and "Sleepy Hollow," the latter was named 
(like all our original names) by circumstances. He had called 
to spend the evening, or may be, to look at and hear the " pur- 
ranner," and went to sleep, and they gave him the name above 

There are but two of the persons above named that are 
living. " Tallow Face " is a prominent citizen of the city. 
"Mutton Head" lives in the suburbs. 

Mr, Walpole's family were connections of the Hon. Thomas 
Ewing, of Ohio. 


The first wagon maker, came to Indianapolis in March, 1822, 
from Middle Tennessee. He carried on the wagon making 
business for geveral years on Illinois street, opposite where 
the Bates House now stands. He was successful, and pos- 
sessed the faculty of holding on to W'hat he made, and laid it 
out in property, which he held until it made him cjuite wealthy; 
indeed, he yet holds a good portion of what was then in the 

Archibald C. Reid. 153 

He has four children living. His eldest son, Gr. W. Nor- 
wood, lives in Putnam County, and is a prosperous farmer; 
his other son, Elhert, lives on his fathers old farm, four miles 
south of the city, on the " Bluff road." His eldest daughter 
is the wife of Abram Bird ; a second is married to Mr. Jesse 
Jones. These two gentlemen are well known as enterprising 
business men, and arc residents of the city. Mr. Norwood 
and his estimable lady arc yet living, although advanced in 


AVas among the first settlers of Wayne Township. He tells 
me he took the first grubs from the ground in his immediate 
neighborhood. He came to his present residence in the year 
1822. He had been raised near Germantown, 3Iontgomery 
County, Ohio. 

Mr. Pence is now one of the prosperous farmers of the 
county, and looks as though he will yet live manj^ years to 
enjoy the prosperity that he has contributed a great deal to 
produce. He is one of our staid and substantial citizens, and 
enjoys the confidence and respect of all who know him. 


Was an early and prominent farmer of Marion County, having 
removed to this place from Connersville, Fayette County, in 
the year 1822, and settled about one-half mile east of the 
southeast corner of the donation, on Pleasant Bun, and there 
farmed successfully until the time of his death, which occur- 
red, I think, in the spring of 1835. 

Mr. Beid took a very active part in politics, held several 
county and township offices, and at one time was the Jackson 
candidate for representative of the county in the State Legis- 
lature ; he was defeated, although he outran the party ticket. 

He was a member of the Baptist Cluirch, and one of its 

154 Early Reminiscences. 

most proiniuont supporters, finnncially as well as in other res- 
pects. He was a charitable and benevolent man. and threw 
all his influence on the side of morality and religion. 

His widow yet lives in the vicinity of the old homestead, 
and althouuh advanced in years is yet quite sprightly. 

Mr. Reid's old farm became very valuable, and is worth at 
the present time one thousand dollars per acre. It was divi- 
ded among his lieirs, who yet retain a large portion of it. 

John Wesley, the eldest son living, who is well known to 
the citizens of Indianapolis, still resides on a portion of the 
land that fell to his share, as also does Erastus. The younger 
brother, J. B. E, Reid, is too well known to the citizens of 
Indianapolis to require any commendation from me ; suffice 
it to say, that he is one of the firm in that popular wholesale 
and retail boot and shoe establishment doing business at No. 
25 West Washington street, under the name and firm of Wil- 
liam K. Hogshire & Co. 

A daughter is the wife of George Drum, a jovial and 
fun-loving man, and ever ready to spin a yarn for the 
amusement of his friends. I will never forget George as one 
of the "Wild Oats of Indianapolis," that went to the Tippe- 
canoe Battle Ground in May, 1840. George could sing as 
loud as the loudest, 

" Come all yv lop; cabin lio}-?, we're g'wine to ha%'e a raisin, 
We've got a job on hand, and j-ou'll think it will be plascn." 

He also fought for the stars and stripes during the late war. 


Came to this place in June, 1823, and was connected with 
Conner and Tyner in merchandizing. He was for many years 
one of the prominent merchants of the place. 3Ir. Phipps is 
well acquainted with the early history of this place and very 
near all the old settlers. 

Isaac N. P/dpps. 155 

When lie first came here, and for many years after, it was 
customary for merchants to keep whisky for their customers, 
and all that wished to could drink without money and without 
price. An empty whisky barrel was set up on end in front 
of the counter, with a hole in the upper head for the drain- 
age of the glasses. On this barrel was set a half gallon bot- 
tle filled with whisky, a bowl of maple sugar, and a pitcher 
of water, and often in winter a tumbler of ground ginger; 
this was intended as an invitation to all who came into the 
store to help themselves, regardless whether they purchased 
or not. In these country stores could be found anything, 
from a log-chain to a cambric needle, from a grubbing-hoe to 
to a silk shawl, from a sack of coffee to a barrel of whisky. 
How difi"erent from those splendid, fashionable establishments, 
the New York Store, the Trade Palace, the Bee Hive, the 
Farmers' Store, and many others ; how the fancy clerks of 
these fashionable marts of merchandise would giggle and 
laugh was it possible for old Jim McCoy to visit his old 
" stamping ground " again and stumble into one of these stores 
and tell them their "bottles wanted filling up," or that he 
wished an ounce of indigo, a quarter of a pound of madder, 
or that the "old 'oman wanted to know if they were gwine to 
have any more Leghorn bonnets with two crowns, as her and 
the oldest gal wanted one." 

It was customary for the merchants, in those days, to bring 
bonnets in this way, take the back part of one and sew it to 
the odd crown, and make a second bonnet. 

Mr. Phipps has lived to see this great change in the man- 
ner of doing business in Indianapolis, in his own as well as 
other branches of business. He has raised a large and re- 
spectable family of children. Two of his sous and a son-in- 
law are engaged in the jewelry business. Another son-in-law, 
P. G. C. Hunt, is a prominent dentist ; another is a merchant, 
and yet another is a prominent lawyer. 

156 Early Ileminiaeenccs. 

Mr. ]'. has long since retired from active business, and seems 
content to attend to his little suburban farm, and worship ac- 
cordintr to the dictates of his own conscience. 


This i;cntlcnian made his first appearance in this place in 
the month of June, 1823, as clerk for John Conner, in his 
country store. lie was from one of the Whitewater towns. 

He was for several years a well known and successful mer- 
chant, and is at this time engaged in banking, in connection 
with his son-in-law, John C. S. Harrison, Esq. 

Mr. Harrison is opposed to any innovations upon the primi- 
tive customs that prevailed at the time he first arrived in this 
place ; to illustrate — he seems to be in favor of the old fash- 
ioned way of going to mill, i. e., by placing a stone in one end 
of the bag and the grain in the other. 

I understand he opposes the introduction of organs and 
other instruments into church music ; he also is opposed to 
the renting of pews or seats in the house of God, He favors 
separating the male from the female portion of the congrega- 
tion, i. r., the goats from the lambs. 

He is a kind of negative man in many things, especially in 
banking, and primitive in nearly all things. It seems, by some 
fortuitous circumstance, that he has been placed two or three 
generations behind the time he should have been upon these 
mundane shores. 


AVas from Georgetown, Kentucky, and became a citizen of In- 
dianapolis in the year 1823. He was a great beau and gallant 
of the young ladies, and a general favorite witli them ; he 
wore a wig, and had managed to keep it a profound secret 
ironi the female portion of the village. 

He was a clever, whole-souled kind of a man, liberal to a 

James Stdgrooe. '[hi 

fault, and would stop at neither labor nor expense to accom- 
modate a friend or display his gallantry. 

He had invited the elder sister of the writer (now Mrs. S. 
H. Patterson, of Jeffersonvillc) and another young lady to 
take a ride in his carriage to the plumb orchard at the old 
Delaware village of Bruettstown, about twelve miles north on 
White River ; the writer, as usual, was on hand a horse-back. 
On the return from the orchard the horse he was driving 
stopped, or balked, in the middle of the river at Broad Hip- 
pie, and could not be induced to move. Mr. Culbertson step- 
ped out of the carriage on a large stone that stood close by, 
and while flourishing his whip to strike the horse knocked his 
hat, and with it his wig, into the swift water at his feet ; with 
an oath he exclaimed that his "hat, head, wig and all were 
gone;" he jumped into the water, and with difficulty recov- 
ered it and placed it on his head dripping wet ; he got on my 
horse and left me with the balky one to get out as best I 
could, which in due time, and by the help of a passer-by, I 
did. He was a very sensitive man, and so deeply was he mor- 
tified that I could not induce him to get in the carriage again 
that evening. Soon after this occurred he left the country. 

I saw him in New Orleans in the year 1840, some fifteen 
years after this incident, and he referred to it with tears in 
his eyes as being the ruin of him, and causing him to become 
dissipated. This incident shows what trivial circumstances 
sometimes seals a person's destiny for life. 


Was one of the early settlers of Decatur Township, having 
come from Montgomery County, Ohio, and settled there in 
the year 1822. 

After living in the country for seven or eight years, he and 
a younger brother, Joseph, engaged with Christopher Kellum 
to learn the saddle and harness makiuij business. After hav- 

158 Early Reminiscences. 

\\\^ finished their trade they commenced business jointly on 
their own account, and were for several years the leading sad- 
dlers of the city, and were very successful. After that Jo- 
seph left the firm and engaged in farming, and at this time is 
one of the best farmers of the county. James continued to 
carry on the business of their trade, and has been longer in 
the same business than any person of the city, and has now 
the largest saddlery and harness hardware establishment in 
tlie State. 

James Sulgrove is the father of Berry R. Sulgrove, who is, 
perhaps, as well and favorably known as any man in the State, 
and respected for his profound learning and native talent, as 
well as for his great generosity and kindness of heart. 

Berry was educated at Bethany College, Virginia, while 
that institution was under the presidency of Alexander Camp- 
bell. He there graduated with the highest honors. 

lie was for many years the leading and political editor of 
the '• Indianapolis Journal," and during the long career of 
that popular paper he was numbered among its ablest writers. 

It has been our fortune to know Berry from his earliest 
boyhood, and we have yet to hear a harsh or unkind word 
spoken of him. 

NICHOLAS Mccarty. 

After writing the name above, I have to lay down my pen 
to think of languafre befitting to give the reader an idea of 
the many good qualities and characteristics of this man. 

He was many years a prominent and popular merchant of 
this place, and during that time did the largest business of 
any person in it. He became a citizen in the fall of 1823, 
and early manifested a deep interest in the place and all its 
citizens, especially the young men, many of whom he assisted 
and started in business. 

A^r. McCarty was never known to oppress any person he 

Nicholas McCarty. 159 

thought was honest and intended to act so with him, and dur- 
ing his whole career (thirty-one years) he enjoyed the con- 
fidence of the people at large and the respect of his neigh- 
bors as much as any person of the county. 

He was my friendly adviser from my boyhood to the time 
of his death, and never did I have cause of regret, unless it 
was when I did not heed it ; and often do I think of his 
friendly salutation when we met, "how do you do, Johnny?" 
Although I never had occasion to ask pecuniary aid of him, 
I had that which was more valuable, his friendship and ad- 
vice. He was a plain, unassuming, practical, common-sense 
man, with as warm and generous a heart as ever beat in the 
bosom of a human being ; no duplicity or deceit was found 

In 1852 he was the Whig candidate for Governor of the 
State, and the last one that party ever ran. Although beaten 
by Joseph A. Wright, he made a very energetic and vigorous 
canvass, and kept his honorable opponent quite busy to an- 
swer some of his plain, oflF-hand and sensible speeches in de- 
fense ef his party and its measures. His efforts had been 
almost uniformly successful, but in this he was doomed to 

Mr. McCarty died in May, 1854, beloved by his family, re- 
spected by his neighbors, and well satisfied with the fortunes 
he had experienced in life. He left a son bearing his name, 
who is still a resident of this city, and two or three daugh- 
ters, one of whom is the wife of the Rev. Doctor Day, pastor 
of the First Baptist Church, and another the wife of John C. 
S. Harrison, a prominent banker. 

Reader, when you pass the grave of Nicholas McCarty, you 
can truthfully say, there lies " an honest man, the noblest 
work of God." 

" Like dews of morning, he was given 
To shine on earth, then rise to heaven.'' 

I(j0 Early Heminiscenses. 


Or Cuu.siii David, as he was familiarly called by all, young and 
old, when he first came to this place, which was soon after 
Mr. McCarty, who was his cousin, was chief clerk in Mr. Mc- 
Carty's store for several years, and in the ab.^ence of the pro- 
prietor was the Major Domo of the establishment. After be- 
ing with Mr. McCarty several years he became a partner in 
merchandising and appeared to prosper during the entire time 
of this partnership. 

In after years he had other partners, but I do not think he 
was so successful. He has several connections by marriage 
still living in this city. He and the late John Wilkins mar- 
ried sisters and were brothers-in-law of the llev. John and 
Andrew Brouse. 

The best evidence of Mr. Williams' strict integrity and 
honesty was, that he had the entire confidence of his friend 
and cousin, Nicholas McCarty, to have which, in his day, was 
a "carte blanche." lie survived his friend but a short time, 
having died several years since. 


During his residence of thirty years in and adjoining this 
city, there was no man more generally or favorably known 
than he. He was the fourth lawyer to make this place his 
home, having come here in November, 1823. He was a na- 
tive of Brownsville, Pennsylvania ; his father was the propri- 
etor of that town, hence its name. 

At an early day he came to Lebanon, Ohio, and entered the 
law oflfice of that distinguished lawyer and statesman, the late 
Thomas Corwin. Mr. Brown proved himself a worthy stu- 
dent of his talented preceptor, and soon occupied a high posi- 
tion in this judicial circuit as a lawyer, and from the day he 
first came to this city up to the time of his death was never 
without clients in abundance, especially in criminal cases. No 

Georfje Toffc, Sr. 161 

man, in his day, in the State, ranked higher as a criminal law- 
yer than Hiram Brown. There are many of our ohl citizens 
who will remember his defense of Major John Jamison in a 
case where a woman was the prosecuting witness. 

In wit and repartee he was unequalled in the State, and 
was never vanquished in a war of words. 

Mr. Brown has a son and several daughters residents of the 
city. One of his daughters is the wife of that well known 
lawyer, Albert G. Porter; another the wife of Jas. C. Yohn ; 
and a third is the wife of Samuel Delzell. 


This worthy farmer was among the early settlers of Marion 
County. He improved and owned the farm now belonging to 
Calvin Fletcher, Jr., about one and a half miles from the do- 
nation line, on the Pendleton Pike. He was, during his life, 
as well known in this city as any farmer in the county, and 
one whose word was considered his bond. He was the father 
of the present Marshal of this city, George Taffe, and his 
brother, Hannibal Taffe, the well known and efficient police- 
man, who does his duty without any unnecessary show of au- 
thority and blustering, common to officials of small caliber. 

The grandfather of these two last named gentlemen, and 
father of the former also, lived here in an early day. He had 
been a revolutionary soldier, and took great pride in talking 
of and recounting the scenes of his early years and the days 
that tried men's patriotism. 

There also lived in Mr. Taffe's immediate neighborhood an 
old man named North, who claimed that he, too, had been a 
revolutionary soldier. The two old men whose heads had 
been whitened by the frosts of three score and ten winters, 
were from the same part of North Carolina. 

Mr. Taffe charged that North was a tory and gave aid and 
comfort to the royalists and enemies of the country. This 


162 Early Rcininisccnces. 

North denied ; but Mr. Taffe's opinions ^vere founded upon 
personal knowledge and observation, and could not be changed. 

At that time there lived in this county ten or twelve of the 
old patriots of the revolution of '76, and who always headed 
the procession at the celebration of the anniversary of our 
natal independence ; but whenever Mr. North undertook to 
take a place with them Mr. Taffe would drive him out, even 
should it require physical force to do so ; nor would he allow 
North to sit down and eat with them at the same time, but 
after they were done dinner he would hunt up North and see 
that he got his rations. 

Those scenes were sure to occur on every public occasion 
n which the revolutionary soldiers took part, so long as both 
of these old men lived and were able to attend them. They 
are, no doubt, fresh in the minds of those citizens who were 
livinc: here during the first decade of the settlement of this 


This half-breed "American citizen of African descent," 
come to this place at an early day, about the year 1824. 
He was from that part of the ''settlement ' known as Brook- 
ville, Franklin County, which furnished this place with more 
great men than any other locality at that day. 

Mr. Mallory was a broad-shouldered, square-built, muscu- 
lar man, about five feet ten inches in height ; his complexion 
was copper or saddle-color ; with a large, bushy head, the 
compound of hair and wool standing on end ; a very large 
mouth — when open might be taken for a Pennsylvania hillside 
barn door ; to see nothing but his head you would be reminded 
of Dan Kiccs grizzly or Rocky Mountain bear. 

He was a very good-natured man, except when irritated. 
It was asserted by Tom Johnson that he heard him laugh at 
*hc distance of one mile. He was possessed of a large 

David 31allory. 163 

fund of anecdotes, which he related with great gusto and self- 
satisfaction, and was never at a loss for listeners. He enjoyed 
to a high degree the confidence and respect of his colored fel- 
low citizens, and was often referred to by them to settle points 
of honor, or other disputes that might arise in their inter- 
course with each other. He was always ready to give his 
friends good advice ; they were generally more disposed to 
follow his practice and example than his precepts. 

He kept a shop in Judge Stevens' row on the south side of 
Washington, about midway between Pennsylvania and Dela- 
ware streets, where he shaved his customers with very dull 
razors in day time, and low white men with very keen cards 
at night ; and often the passer by late at night would hear his 
sonorous voice demanding "Tom " to ante, as he had put up 
last, or that it was his deal, or that he was entitled to the last 
shuffle, or, if any one should refer to Hoyle, offer to bet a V 
that Hoyle said nothing about poker in his work on games ; or 
if a dispute should arise as to where and when draw poker 
originated, he was willing to bet that it was at the mouth of 
White River, Arkansas, it originated, and that Bowie first in- 
troduced it as well as the Bowie Knife hand. This was a new 
hand to the worthy barber, and he said he did not care about 
learning it. While playing he kept his money in his mouth, 
it held just twenty dollars in silver; his usual "blufi"" was a 
mouthful, which he emptied from his mouth on to the table. 

A citizen returning home late one night heard loud and 
boisterous talking in the shop of Mr. Mallory ; supposing the 
usual game of poker or seven up was going on, stopped to sec 
if he could recognize any of the voices. 

It turned out to be a one-armed Italian organ-grinder and 
the proprietor disputing about the nativity of Christopher 
Columbus. The organ grinder asserted that Columbus was a 
native of Virginny^ born and raised in old Richmond, for he 
knew him well. 

164 Earbj Beminiscences. 

The sfhaver was astonished at the Italian's ignorance ; for 
although he was not personally acquainted with Columbus, 
he had read and " heme " a great deal about him ; he 
was certainly born and raised in Liverpool. How the dis- 
pute was settled we have no means of knowing, but are in- 
clined to the opinion that Mr. Mallory would have backed his 
judgment to any amount at his command. 

In justice to this tonsorial artist, I must add that he was 
not the only citizen of Indianapolis that cut deep and shaved 
clean at that day. Some used financial razors that cut both 
ways, and after one or two operations were performed upon the 
same person they would hardly be worth shaving afterwards. 

Mr. Mallory claimed that his wife had descended from the 
true native American (Indian) race, and did not like the at- 
tention of the " niggers," and said his daughters should not 
associate with them, but were for the society of T. J. and 
other white gentlemen of his acquaintance. 

He has closed his game and handed in his checks several 
years since, but he is well represented, both in appearance and 
practice, by his only son, who rejoices in the name of David 
Mallory, Jun. 

" For wheresoever the carcass is there will the Eagles (buzzards) be gathered togeth- 

INCIDENTS OF 1823-24-25-26. 

ill the year 1823 the people began to look forward to the 
time when the barrier that cut them off from the balance of 
of the '• world and the rest of mankind " would be removed ; 
the mails began to arrive semi-monthly ; the Centerville mail 
was carried on horseback by a lame fiddler named " Amos 
Dilly;' his arrival was looked forward to with rather more 
interest than the others, and was generally celebrated by a 
dance, as he furnished the music. The Brookville, or "set- 
tlement mail," was carried by Samuel Frazier, now a promi- 

Incidents of 1823-24-25-26. 165 

nent temperance lecturer. The Madison or Berry's Trace mail 
was carried by an old man named Metcalf ; he was more famil- 
iarly known as " Old Madcap." These mail carriers frequently 
had to swim all the streams on their respective routes, and 
were often several days behind time in consequence of high 
waters ; the mails were often damaged by water. I have fre- 
quently seen Mr. Henderson, our worthy Postmaster, spread- 
ing them out in the sun for the purpose of drying. 

In the spring of 1824 the murder of the Indians eight miles 
east of Pendleton, in Madison County, occurred. They were 
encamped on the bank of a small stream for the purpose of 
hunting and trapping. Four men and a boy went to their 
camp pretending to be hunting horses, but for no other pur- 
pose really than to kill and rob them. The names of the mur- 
derers were Harper, Hudson, Sawyer and Bridges and his son, 
a boy about eighteen years of age. Harper made his escape 
with the whole of the booty acquired. Hudson and the others 
were arrested, tried and three hung. 

Hudson was first tried, in the fall of 1824, and sentenced 
to be hung in January. He managed to escape a short time 
before the day of his execution, and lay in the woods and got 
his feet frozen so badly that he was unable to travel, and in 
this condition he was retaken, and hung on the day appointed 
by the court. 

The other three were tried at the spring term of the court 
and sentenced to be hanged in June, 1825. The writer had 
obtained the consent of a young man to ride behind him on 
the same horse to witness the execution, as he did. 

It was generally understood that, in consequence of the age 
of young Bridges (he being a mere boy), and the fact that he 
had been induced to engage in the crime by his lather and 
Sawyer, who was his uncle. Governor Ray would pardon him. 

Up to ten o'clock of the day of execution neither the Gov- 
euor nor a pardon had arrived. The three criminals were 

1G6 Early Reminiscences, 

taken iVom the palisade prison to the place of execution, about 
two hundred yards above the Falls of Fall Creek, on the west 
side ; a wagon was drawn up on the side of the hill with the 
wheels on planks, so they would move easy and quickly, a post 
was placed on the side of the hill just above the wagon; to 
this post the wagon was fastened by a rope, so that when the 
rope was cut the wagon would run down the hill without aid. 
The two old men were placed in the tail of the wagon, the 
ropes adjusted, the white caps drawn over their faces, and at 
a given signal the rope was cut and the wagon quickly run 
from under the unfortunate men. Sawyer broke his arms 
loose that were pinioned behind ; he caught the rope by which 
he was hanging and raised himself about eighteen inches ; the 
sheriff (Corry) quickly caught him by the ankles, gave a sud- 
den jerk, which brought the body down, and he died without 
another struggle. 

After they had hung about thirty minutes they were taken 
down and placed in their coffins at the foot of the gallows. 
The young man, who had witnessed the scene, was then placed 
in the wagon (which had been re-adjusted on the hillside) with 
the intention of waiting until the last moment for Gorernor 
Ray or a pardon. He had not been in this situation long be- 
fore the Governor made his appearance (which created a shout 
from all present) on a large "fancy grey" horse. He rode 
directly up to the gallows, where the young man was seated 
on a rough coffin in the wagon. The Governor handed the 
reins of the bridle to a bystander, commanding the prisoner 
to stand up: "Sir," said the Governor, "do you know in 
whose presence you stand?" being answered in the negative, 
the Governor continued : " There are but two powers known 
to the law that can save you from hanging by the neck until 
you are dead, dead, dead ; one is the great God of the Uni- 
verse, the other is J. Brown Ray, Governor of the State of 
Indiana ; the latter stands before you (handing the young man 

Incidents of 1823-24-25-26. 1G7 

the written pardon), you are pardoned." The Governor re- 
ceived the thanks of all present for this act of clemency. 

The whole scene was witnessed by about twenty Indians, 
said to be relatives of those murdered. They seemed well 
satisfied that the death of their friends had been avenfred, and 
it restored confidence throughout the "new purchase" that 
there was no danger to be apprehended from the Indians in 
consequence of this murder. 

In the fall of 1824 the court house was approaching com- 
pletion ready for the legislature, which was to convene in this 
place for the first time, on the first Monday in January, 1825, 
The seat of government had been fixed by law to remain at 
Corydon. Until 1825 the Legislature had convened on the 
first Monday in December of each year ; the members had 
become very much dissatisfied with the treatment they had 
received at the hands of the citizens of Corydon and deter- 
mined to get the seat of government from there one year 
earlier. In the Legislature that expired in the winter of 1824, 
a resolution was introduced and passed that "when the Leg- 
islature adjourn it would meet at Indianapolis on the first 
Monday in January, 1825." 

In the full of 1824 the State offices were removed to In- 
dianapolis. It brought several good and permanent citizens 
— Samuel Merrill, as Treasurer of State, Dr. Wm. H. Lilly, 
as Auditor — the time of the Secretary of State expired that 
winter and he did not remove his family — John Douglass, as 
State Printer, also came that fall. 

At the appointed time the Legislature met, but the fondest 
hopes of the people were not realized; neither the advantages 
nor pleasure they had looked forward to with so much anxiety 
were experienced : 

" But pleasures are like poppies spread, 
You seize the floner, its bloom is shod. 
Or like the snow falls in the river, 
A moment white, then melts forever. 

108 Early Reminiscences. 

Or like the borealis' race, 
That flit ere you can point their place. 
Or like the rainbow's lovely form, 
Evanishing amid the storm." 

The members of the Legislature were huddled together, six 
generally in a cabin, and paid from two to three dollars per 
week board. 

Among the prominent members of this session of the Legis- 
lature were John Ewing, of Knox, Daniel Gross, of Spencer, 
Samuel Chambers, of Orange, Benjamin Irwin, of Bartholo- 
mew, Milton Stapp, of Jefferson, Calvin Fletcher, of Marion 
and Hamilton, George Boon, of Sullivan, John H. Thompson, 
of Clark. 

The members came on horseback ; their horses were kept 
by the farmers, who were anxious to have them at from fifty 
to seventy-five cents per week. For many years after the 
Legislature first met here all debts were made payable at the 
close of the next session, as more money was distributed 
among the people at that than any other time of the year. 

When the next Legislature met (at the usual time, the first 
Monday in December) considerable improvement had been 
made for their accommodation. The mother of the writer 
had built a brick house, in addition to her cabins, and was en- 
abled to furnish board for twelve men. Henderson and Blake 
and John Hawkins had also made additions which enabled 
them to accommodate more persons and in better style than 
the previous year. In after years, when the price of board 
was increased, the members began to threaten the citizens that 
they had once removed the seat of government from Corydon 
on account of the extortions of its citizens, and they would 
do so again ; but this was only boasting, for they well knew 
they could not, it being out of their power, as the four sec- 
tions of land on which Indianapolis stands was donated by the 
general government for a permanent seat of government, and 

Fancy Tom. 169 

that when the Legislature accepted the grant the capital was 
fixed for all time to come. 


Was one of the citizens we gained when the capital was re- 
moved to this place. Tom had been connected with the seat 
of government at Corydon from the birth of the State, and 
considered himself one of its institutions, and his presence 
indispensable at its capital. 

Thomas Bennett, which was his proper name before he came 
to Indianapolis, was a professor of the " tonsorial art," prac- 
tically he was a better cook. The way in which he got the pre- 
fix to his name was this: He was living with Governor Hay 
and the Governor sent him to his neighbor, Mr. Wilkins, to 
borrow a basket of corn ; Tom asked for fancy corn, as he 
wanted it to feed the Governor's horse. From that day he 
was known as "Fancy Tom." His complexion was a dark 
mahogany, or horse chestnut; he wore his wool plaited quite 
around his head, the plaits about two inches in length, and 
resembled very much the "pigtail" tobacco so much used at 
that time. He had a very efi"eminate voice, and were you to 
hear without seeing him, you would take it to be a female's. 

Tom had a barber shop on Washington street, north side, 
between Pennsylvania street and the alley west. One morn- 
ing one of his old legislative customers that represented one 
of the Ohio river counties, named "Tadlock," called in to be 
shaved ; after Tom had complimented his customer, as was his 
wont to do on all occasions, he invited him to be seated in his 
tonsorial chair — this man had one leg off above the knee, 
which was supplied by a block of wood fastened with a leather 
strip, which, for the convenience of Tom and the comfort of 
himself, he took off while the professor was operating upon 
his phiz. 

Tom was very much afraid of Indians and his customer had 

170 Early Reminiscences. 

no very high opinion of them himself. Tom had shaved one 
side of his face and had come round to the other side, so that 
his back was to the front door, and while he was flourishing 
his brush over the man's face in fine tonsorial style, very much 
eno-aged in conversation, dilating upon the future of the new 
capital, four or five Indians, unobserved either by him or his 
customer, come to the door, (an Indian hardly ever passes an 
open door without looking in). A large and finely painted 
Indian put his hands on each side of the door, the others 
were peeping under his arms; Tom was between them and his 
customer, and in order to see what he was doing the big one 
gave one of their peculiar ughs. Tom turned round, and as 
soon as he saw the Indians dropped his professional tools and 
cried out, " oh, blessed ingins," he made a spring for and 
through the back window, crying as he went " oh, blessed in- 
gins." The Indians not understanding his movements fol- 
lowed to the window to see what he intended. Mr. Tadlock 
began to think he was in no very enviable situation, alone in 
the room with the Indians ; he made a spring in the direction 
of his wooden leg, as he could not get out of the way with- 
out it ; in this jump he fell to the floor, which caused his nose 
to bleed profusely, but he got hold of his leg and hobbled 
into the street, crying "ingins" and "murder" at every step. 
The blood on his face and the presence of the Indians alarmed 
those that were attracted to the place. The noise and cry of 
murder had attracted all the whites in the neighborhood and 
several more Indians, that happened to be in town, to the 
place, all of whom were alarmed until the frightened legis- 
lator became composed enough to explain. In the meantime 
Tom had jumped over the fence and ran down the alley west 
until he came to Mr. Ungles' yard near Mr. Hawkins' tavern ; 
he ran into Mr. Ungles' house, crying murder and "ingins" 
at every step. Mrs. Ungles had a pan of breakfast dishes in 
her hands at the lime Tom entered, and his abrupt enterance 

Henry Brady. 171 

so frightened her that she dropped the pan and broke all her 
dishes. After things became more quiet a search was made 
for Tom, but he was no where to be found. Mr. Hawkins had 
an attic room that he did not often use ; that night it was ne- 
cessary to put some strangers up there to sleep ; when they 
went into the room Tom stuck his head out from under the 
bed, and inquired if the " ingins had killed many people." 

Tom lived to see many Indians after that, and died in 1850. 
He was found sitting in the kitchen of the Capital House 
with a boot in one hand and shoe-brush in the other. 


The name of Mr. Brady has been a household word in Ma- 
rion County for forty-seven years. He is a native of Penn- 
sylvania, but emigrated to this State when quite young. His 
first residence in Indiana was in Jackson County, from whence 
he came to this county and settled six miles east of town, in 
Warren Township, in 1822, where he yet resides. He went, 
as all others did, into the woods, and now, by his own labor 
principally, has one of the finest farms in that neighborhood. 

He was for many years a magistrate of that township. He 
has represented the county at different times in both branches 
of the legislature, and was ever popular with the people ; the 
county has nearly always been opposed to the political party 
to which he belongs, yet when he was a candidate before them 
the people seemed to forget for awhile their party allegiance ; 
indeed, he has been successful over some of the most popular 
leaders of the opposite party. He came to this county a 
Jackson man, and has strictly adhered to the political party 
that sprung from the administration of the old hero. 

I have before me an " Indianapolis Gazette, " printed in the 
year 1827. In this he ofi"ers his services to the people as a 
surveyor at two dollars per diem. 

The old gentleman has moved on in the even tenor of his 

172 Early Reminiscences. 

way ever since. He has lately renewed his youth by taking 
to himself a young wife, and it is to be hoped by his many 
friends he will get a renewal of the lease of life. 

It is quite unnecessary to say that Esquire Brady is one of 
the solid farmers of Marion County, and is universally re- 
spected as far as known. 


The first watch maker to make this city his home, came here 
from Centerville, Wayne County, in 1825 ; though there had 
been one or two itinerant workmen of that kind, there was 
none to stay any length of time. 

Mr. Griffith is a native of Wales, but came to the United 
States when quite young. He, like many others, made his 
money by the increase in value of real estate, and possessed 
the faculty of making a little money go a great ways. 

Some ten years since, when those magnificent steamers, the 
Jacob Strader and Telegraph, were the mail line between Cin- 
cinnati and Louisville, there was an opposition evening line 
put upon the route ; the mail company, in order to run the 
opposition out of the trade, put the fare down to one dollar 
between the two points. 

At that time Mr. G. was visiting Cincinnati for pleasure 
and sight-seeing, and was paying first-class hotel bills, which 
was more than double the daily board on those steamers. He 
took a state room on the Strader and remained about two 
weeks, paying his fare every day to the next port. The clerk 
thought there must be something wrong, and approached him 
on the subject. Mr. G. gave a shrill whistle ; said he, " don't 
you know me, I am Humphrey Griffith, of Indianapolis ; I've 
been watching the manner in which you have managed this 
boat, and have made up my mind to buy it." After Mr. G. was 
perfectly satisfied of the good accommodations on the Stra- 
der, the superior liquors kept in the bar, and, above all, the 

Samuel McGsorge. 173 

polite and gentlemanly captain, he left the boat well satisfied 
with himself and the balance of mankind. 

I am sorry to hear that at this time Mr. Griffith's health is 
very bad, and that he is unable to leave his house. I fear at 
his advanced age there is but little hopes of his recovery. 
Such is Humphrey Grifiith, a citizen of this place for forty- 
four years. 


For many years one of the most respected citizens and indus- 
trious mechanics of this city, came to this place from Harri- 
son County, Kentucky, early in the year 1826. 

He was one of the founders and leading members of the 
Christian Church in this place, a worthy man, and was valued 
for his plain and unassuming manners, unostentatious purity, 
and his benevolent and charitable acts and sympathy with 
the poor and laboring classes. He died several years since, 
leaving a family of several children. 

His eldest son, Napoleon B. Taylor, Esq., is one of the pro- 
minent lawyers of the city, who is also respected as a man of 
strict integrity and upright deportment, as a lawyer for his 
legal knowledge and fidelity to the interest of his clients, and 
as a neighbor, for his social and genial qualities. 


I had forgot in the proper place, 1821, to notice Mr. Mc- 
George as one of the prominent citizens of that year. He 
lived on the river bank just below where the National road 
bridge crosses. Like every person else, he kept a " tavern." 
As there were no hotels at that time, they were all " taverns," 
or "private entertainments." 

He was a tall, fine-looking man, with light hair and com- 
plexion. He had six or seven daughters that inherited the 
father's good looks. 

17^ Early Reminiscences. 

He moV.'Mi from this place to an Indian reserve on Wild 
Cat, in Tippecanoe County, near where Dayton now stands. 
He became a contractor with the government for furnishing 
provisions, horses, &c., for the Indian treaties and payments ; 
he finally bought of Chief Rickardville the reservation of the 
six sections on which he lived, and managed to get a special 
act of Congress passed granting him a patent; this made him 
quite wealthy. 

The writer spent a month at his house in the fall of 1828, 
when he was surrounded by his friends, the dusky Pottawat- 
amies and Miamis, and many a ramble have I had with his 
beautiful daughters in visiting the many Indian graves and 
procuring the remnants of silver jewelry yet to be found, one 
of which was in a log ; a slab was split from the top of the 
log the proper length, then the log was dug out sufficient in 
depth to hold the corpse, and the slab replaced ; in this grave 
there was nothing but the bones and the remnants of jewelry. 

Mr. McGeorge was a liberal, whole-souled man, and such a 
one that if he made money would do it at a single dash (as he 
did) ; he had no idea of saving and making it in dribs. He 
died many years since, at his farm on the reservation refer- 
red to. 

His eldest daughter, Emily, was the wife of a Mr. Hollo- 
way, the first merchant in Lafayette ; another married a Meth- 
odist preacher, named Tarkington ; another Ezra Bush, the 
son of a neighboring farmer ; Nancy was the wife of Doctor 
Lank and owns her father's old farm, one of the finest on Wild 
Cat prairie. I have no knowledge who the others married, 
but am sure their good looks secured them good husbands, 
although sometimes the reverse is the case. 

I hope my fair companions that I have referred to, nor my- 
self, by obtaining those antiquities, will ever be charged with 
robbing " Lo, the poor Indian," or a grave, for pecuniary 

John \V. Foudray. 175 


Or brother Foudray, as he was generally called by young and 
old, came from Champaign County, Ohio, in the full of 1824. 
His son John showed me a silver Mexican dollar, bearing the 
date of that year, which his mother had kept as a memento of 
their arrival here. 

Brother Foudray was very active in organizing the church, 
and one of the founders of Methodism in this place. He was 
the compeer in the church of Billy Ray, Jimmy Kittleman 
and Francis and William McLaughlin, and was a class-leader 
from the organization of the church to the time of his death, 
in 1850. 

His family consisted of himself, wife and three children, 
Milton, John, and his daughter Jane ; all are now dead with 
the exception of John. — 

John E. Foudray was many years a constable, then sheriff 
of the county; he is now engaged in farming and the livery 

I often meet him on the street, and am reminded by him of 
a circumstance that occurred between Christmas and New 
Year, 1836. 

His brother Milton was clerking in a store at Bloomington ; 
my sister, afterwards Mrs. Rousseau, was there at school and 
the sleigl'ing was very fine ; he and myself rigged out a cut- 
ter with a fine pair of horses, well decked out with sleigh- 
bells, in order to pay our relatives a visit ; we invited a young 
man (yet a resident of the city) to accompany us. We started 
about dark with the intention to, and did, drive all night. 
The great noise made by our bells brought the inmates of the 
cabins along our route to their doors, often only to hear us in 
the distance after passing. Just after daylight next morning 
we reached the Bean Blossom Hills, about seven miles from 
our place of destination. As we were ascending one of those 

176 Early Reminiscenses. 

hills we saw a man just before us on horseback, and heard 
cries of "wo, Bally! wo, Bally! wo !" Before we could check 
up our horses and stop the noise that had evidently fright- 
ened his, the man, with a gun in his hand, was thrown into 
the deep snow on one side of the road, and a dead hog, which 
he was carrying before him on the horse, on the other side, his 
horse keeping straight forward as fast as his legs would carry 
him. When T^e came up the man was on his feet, brushing 
the snow from his clothes. 

"Wal, stranger," said he, "what tarnal things ar' them 
you're got thar?" They are organs, replied John quickly. 
'•Orgings, orgings," said the man; "what ar' tha?" "They 
are a kind of music they have in churches;" answered Mr. 
Foudray. " Churches," said the man ; " do you mean meeting 
houses?" "Yes," was the answer, "meetinghouses." "Wal, 
stranger, my house is jest on this road, if you'll gather up 
my hog I'll show you whar I live. I would like the ole 
'oman and the youngsters to see these 'ere orgings." 

We took them, i. e., the man and hog, as well as gun, in 
our sleigh, and soon landed them at the cabin door, where th-e 
" ole 'oman and youngsters " were awaiting us, attracted by 
the unexpected and unceremonious arrival of Bally, as well 
as the noise of our bells. "Ole 'oman," said he, "these fel- 
lers have got orgings, and they ring um in metin' houses." 

John gave his horses a turn in the road to give them an- 
other tune on the organs. 

"Now, stranger," said the man, "as you're so kine as to 
haul my hog in your sled, you must wait til the ole 'oman 
cooks some of it for breakfast, and I'll gin your horses some 
fodder ; I'll skin away a place on the hine leg and we'll soon 
have some on't fried." This invitation to breakfast we respect- 
fully declined, as the animal heat was still in the hog, and it 
was yet smoking. 

This man had only done what was customary in the country 

Dacid Bur /chart. 177 

at that time, i. e., when they were out of meat they would go 
to the woods and kill any unmarked or wild hog they found. 
After our arrival at Bloomington, and we had met our friends, 
we were invited to spend the evening at the house where my 
sister boarded, and where there were several young ladies. 
While one of them was performing on the piano a loud noise 
was heard as an accompaniment to the music, which was found 
to proceed from the nasal organ of the young man who had 
accompanied us ; he sat in the corner fast asleep, and had to 
be roused up when we left. This incident he yet hears of 
when he chances to meet Mr. Foudray or myself. 


About the time of which I am now writing, 1824, there 
came to this place a man that became renowned in after years 
for fighting, and a terror to the colored population ; indeed, 
they would tremble in their boots at the mention of his name. 
He was a stout-built, stoop-shouldered man, about five feet 
eight inches in height, with an arm as muscular as a bear, red 
hair, sandy whiskers, and a florid complexion ; when drinking 
he was a very dangerous man, and seemed crazed from the 
efi"ect of the liquor. When he took a liking to a person he 
would do anything for them in his power; at least I found it 
so until I incurred his displeasure ; when sober he was a very 
good-hearted man, and liberal in money matters. 

He kept a grocery on the southwest corner of New York 
and Tennessee streets and Indiana avenue. This place he 
called " The first and last Grocery," i. c, it was the first in 
coming into town on Indiana avenue, and the last in going out. 

Dave was a man of considerable influence with a certain 
class that were in the habit of congregating at " The first and 
last." Out of this class he formed what he called the '^ chain 
gang," of which he was the leader. This gang was formed 
to take care of any son of Ham that should be so unfortunate 

178 Early Reminiscences. 

as to incur the displeasure of the leader or any of his party, 
and wo be unto any of them that should get the '' chain gang" 
after them. Any mandate issued by the gang, or their leader, 
was faithfully obeyed by the colored society. 

There was a negro, called Colonel Hunter, that lived in a 
cabin on the back part of my mother's lot; he became trou- 
blesome on account of the free use he made of our chickens, 
wood, &c. My eldest brother had loaded a log of wood with 
a charge of powder that had no other effect than to cover the 
colonel's floor with hot ashes and coals. This only made him 
more careful to leave all logs he found with a plug in them 
alone. My brother then tried the Dave Burkhart remedy, 
and it produced the desired effect. 

One evening my brother addressed him in this way : " Col- 
onel, what is the difficulty between you and Dave Burkhart?" 
" AVhy, has massa Burkhart got anything agin me, massa 
3Iat? ' " I don't know," said my brother ; " I heard him and 
one of the chain gang talking ; they said you had better move 
to where the white people were not so thickly settled." 

The colonel requested my brother to see " massa Burk- 
hart," and tell him he would leave as soon as he could get -a 
cabin to go into ; and in a few days we were rid of our neigh- 

In September, 183(i, there was a camp meeting, under the 
direction of the late Rev. James Havens, on the military 
ground, just west of the canal, between Market and Ohio 
streets.. For some weeks before the meeting was to take place 
there was a great deal of talk as to the course Burkhart would 
probably take in regard to it. 

Finally, Dave was heard from. He said, " Ole Sorrel (as 
Mr. Havens was sometimes called) should get a whipping on 
the occasion, and he, himself would do it." The meeting was 
progressing very quietly, and nothing was seen of Dave until 
Saturday afternoon. 

David Barkkart. 179 

I was sittlug on the end of one of the seats next to the 
main aisle. Mr. Havens had given out the hymn, and the 
congregation had kneeled in prayer; he then left the preach- 
er's stand, and, as he passed me, gave me to understand that 
he wished to see me outside of the congregation. 

At the edge of the encampment he said to me that " Dave 
Burkhart was on the ground raising a disturbance, and that 
he was going to take him before Esquire Stevens; and," said 
Mr. Havens, "when I take him by the right arm I wish you 
to take him by the left." We came up rather behind Dave, 
and had him as above indicated before he saw either of us. 
When he saw Mr. Havens, "Ah," said he, " Ole Sorrel, I've 
got you, han't I?" "No," said Mr. Havens, "we've got you, 
Davy, and you must go to 'Squire Stevens' with us." 

He floundered around for awhile, but soon became con- 
vinced that he had to go. Mr. Havens was a stout, athletic 
and determined man, just in the pride of manhood and strength, 
and I considered myself rather on the double-jointed order at 
that time. We had no difiiculty in getting him before the 
'Squire, who fined him very light and sent him to jail for two 
or three days, and until the meeting should be over. 3Ir. 
Havens managed to have him released on Monday morning, 
Dave promising not to disturb the meeting again, which pro- 
mise he honorably kept. 

Ever after this circumstance, when Dave was drinkinc:. he 
would have something to say about John Nowland, although 
quite friendly when sober. In 1843, seven years after the 
incident above narrated (and when I was at my store seven- 
teen miles from town), he got into a fight with an Irishman 
in front of the Palmer House ; the Irishman was rather too 
heavy for him, and had the best of the fight. When Dave 
arose from the gutter, and had wiped the blood and dirt from 
his face, he jumped up and cracked his heels together, and 
made a request of me, which, although I was not present, I 

180 Early Reminiscences. 

do not think I should have complied with had I been there. 
All the old citizens, and many of the new ones, will under- 
stand what I refer to. As this was the second time he had 
been conquered, he supposed I had something to do with it. 
Dave has some children yet living in the city, who are quite 
respectable people. Mr. Burkhart has long since been able 
to exclaim with the poet, 

" My race is run, my warfare's o'er, 
The solemn hour has come." 


Was born in a " Block House," situated in what is now Ohio 
County, West Virginia, about twelve miles from Wheeling, in 
the year 1797 ; his father, being in command of the station 
established for the protection of the people, as well as a place 
of refuge for the settlers when attacked by the Indians, which 
was frequently the case. This Block house was called " Bee- 
ler's Station," and up to the present time it still retains the 

He, with his mother's family, descended the Ohio Biver in 
a kind of " dug out," called a pirogue, in the year 1818 or 
1819. The latter year he visited where this city now stands, 
before there was a cabin of a white man in it. 

In the year 1820 he, with his mother and brother (George 
H. Beeler, who was the first clerk of Morgan County), settled 
near what was then, and is yet, known as the blufi"s of White 

In the rear 1822 he was married to Miss Hannah Matthews, 
the daughter of one of their neighbors, and settled, with his 
young wife, in Marion County, about seven miles southwest 
of this city, on the west side of White River, in Decatur town- 
ship, where he resided up to the time of his death. Mr. 
Beeler underwent all the privations and trials incident to a 
pioneer or backwoods life. 

Joseph Beeler. 181 

He was for many years a justice of the peace — in fact as 
long as he would consent to serve. He was often solicited to 
become a candidate for higher positions, but always declined. 
He ever advised his neighbors, as well as others, against liti- 
gation, and was a peacemaker as far as his mild and persua- 
sive manner could accomplish that end. 

Mr. Beeler was a man of untiring perseverance and indus- 
try, and considered his vocation, that of a farmer, of the high- 
est respectability, and had a great ambition to excel in his 

He was one of the first fiirmers of the county to import 
improved breeds of stock. His cattle, sheep and hogs early 
gained the reputation of being the best in the county, as the 
records of the first agricultural societies of the county and 
State will show by the premiums awarded. 

He also took a deep interest in horticulture and the culti- 
vation of improved varieties of fruits. Were I writing for 
the eye only of those w^ho knew Joseph Beeler, it would be 
unnecessary to say he was a man of the strictest integrity, 
and one whose word was as good as his bond, and was never 

He was at the time of his death, and for many years prior, 
a member of the Christian Church. He died on the 12th of 
July, 1851, well satisfied with his experience in life, and in 
the full vigor and strength of manhood ; and when his days 
of toil and hardships were over, he found the forest had given 
place to cultivated fields, the log cabin to stately mansions, 
the unpretending log churches of our city to those magnifi- 
cent temples of worship we now have. 

Mrs. Beeler still survives him, and makes her home with 
her son, who will be the subject of my next sketch. 

182 Early Reminiscences. 


AVas the first-born, and is the eldest son of the worthy gen- 
tleman I have noticed in the preceding sketch. He is one of 
the oldest native born citizens of Marion County, having made 
his first appearance upon the stage of action on the 30th day 
of iMarch, 1823. 

At the time he received his education the opportunities 
were very limited for the rudiments of a com-mon English ed- 
ucation ; for a portion of what he did receive he walked three 
miles in winter, most of the way through the woods to the log 
school house, where his young ideas were first taught to shoot, 
frequently on his way seeing deer and flocks of wild turkeys, 
with which the woods abounded at that time. 

Mr. Beeler tells me his earliest recollection was seeing In- 
dians passing his father's cabin, hearing the wolves howl at 
night, and their killing all the sheep his father had, ten or 
twelve in number, and that his mother considered it a great 
calamity, as she did not know how her family was to be pro- 
vided with the necessary winter clothing. She dressed and 
spun flax and wove linen for summer clothes ; and for a Sun- 
day suit, and to be worn on special occasions, she would gene- 
rally stripe it. 

At the age of twenty-one years (not being willing to lose 
much time) he was married and settled on a farm just west of 
Eagle Creek, on the Mooresville road, three and a half miles 
from town, where he yet resides. 

Although, like his father, very decided in his political views, 
and frank to express them, he has never taken a very active 
part in politics. He cast his first vote for a Presidential can- 
didate for Henry Clay in 1844. 

In the year 1850 he was nominated by the Whig conven- 
tion as its candidate for Representative of the county in the 
Legislature, and though he got the full vote of his party was 

Samuel Merr'dL 183 

defeated, the Democrats having the ascendaucy in the county 
at that time. 

During the existence of the Marion County Agricultural 
Society, from 1852 to 1860, he was a member, five years a 
director, and two years its president. 

He was nominated by the Republican party, and elected a 
member of the House of Representatives in October, 1868, 
and served in the regular and special sessions ; was chairman 
of the Committee on Agriculture, and took an active part in 
all questions relating to it, as well as the interests of his im- 
mediate constituents and the general welfare of the State, and 
introduced a bill for the appointment of a State Geologist and 
a geological survey of the State, which was about the only 
bill of general importance that became a law at the first ses- 
sion of that legislature. 

After the death of A. J. Holmes, Mr. Beeler was appointed 
his successor as "Secretary of the State Board of Agricul- 
ture," and has passed through one of the most successful fairs 
of the West with entire satisfaction to the public and credit 
to all its officers. 

As Fielding is rather good-looking, I hope he will excuse 
me if I attempt to give the reader an idea of his personal ap- 

As will be seen by his age, he is just in the prime of life, 
about five feet eight inches in height, rotund form, light hair, 
florid complexion, a blue eye and smiling countenance, and 
inherits all the candor and frankness of his father. 


Was one of the good men, substantial and permanent citizens 
Indianapolis gained when the seat of government was removed 
to it. He was a native of one of the Yankee States, I think 
Vermont, but came to the West when a young as well as sin- 
gle man. His first residence in Indiana was at A evav, where 

184 Early Reminiscences. 

he was married. He then practiced law for a short time. In 
the winter of 1822-23 he was elected Treasurer of State, and 
in the spring removed to Corydon, then the capital of the 

In the fall of 1824, when the State offices were removed to 
this place, he, with his family, made this place their home. 
He held the office of Treasurer of State until the State Bank 
of Indiana was chartered in 1831, when he was, by the legis- 
lature, chosen its president, and organized it, as well as the 
different branches, throughout the State. This position he 
held about ten years. He was then chosen President of the 
Madison and Indianapolis Railroad. It was while he had the 
supervision of this road its stock was worth from twenty-five 
to thirty per cent, premium. 

While Mr. Merrill held these public positions he was ever 
active in private pursuits and enterprises. The first summer 
he was here we had no person that was qualified or willing to 
teach school ; he was induced to do so, and kept school in the 
log Methodist Church on Maryland street, between Illinois 
and Meridian. Some years afterward he engaged in merchan- 
dising, and then, in connection with Mr. Yandes, built the 
mills on Fall Creek, known now as Bretts' Mill. He was ever 
active in all benevolent and charitable institutions, and during: 
his entire residence was superintendent or teacher of a Sunday 
school. While he was president of the Benevolent Society 
he kept such clothing as was donated for that purpose in a 
room in the State Bank, adjoining his office. He had just 
bought himself a fine cloth cloak, such an one as was fash- 
ionable at that day, and very costly. One morning he en- 
tered his office through that room, and had thrown his cloak 
off on the pile of clothing left for distribution to the poor ; a 
few moments afterward an old man, that lived upon the chari- 
ties of the people, came to Mr. M. for clothing; he told him 

John Doufjlaas. 185 

go into the room and help himself to such as were there, 
phich he did, and among other articles took the fine cloak. 

When Mr. Merrill was ready to go to dinner his cloak was 
10 where to be found. As it was a cold, disagreeable day, he 
ertainly had worn it to the ofiice ; he could not think what 
lad become of it. On his way home he met old man Wilson 
the person referred to as having come for clothing) prome- 
ladino; Washinfrton street with it on. 

Mr. Merrill was one of the first to join the Second Presby • 
erian Church when first organized by Henry Ward Beecher, 
ind was a warm personal friend of that eminent divine during 
lis residence in Indianapolis. 

During the thirty years he was a resident of this city, no 
)erson enjoyed the confidence and respect of its citizens to a 
greater desrree than Samuel Merrill. 

He has several children yet living in the city. His eldest 
laughter is now the widow of the late John L. Ketchum ; a 
son, bearing the father's name, is a prominent bookseller and 
stationer, and there is no sign now in the city whose name is 
Jiore familiar to the writer than that of Samuel Merrill. 


\fVas the " State Printer," and came to this place when the 
)ther State ofiicers came, in 1824. He immediately became 
3onnected with DouG;lass Maj>'uire in the "Western Censor 
ind Emigrant's Guide," by the purchase of Mr. Gregg's in- 
t-erest, and changed the name to the " Indiana Journal." He 
ivas connected with the paper several years, for sometime as 
sole proprietor, and then with S. V. B. Noel as a partner. He 
tvas a practical printer, and a very industrious man. 

Mr. Douglass was an honest, upright man, and, as I have 

said of another in these sketches, would rather suffer a wrong 

liimsclf than knowingly do another an injury; and were he 

living at this time he would hardly be considered qualified to 


186 Early Heminiscences. 

superintend a printing establishment, when their advocacy of 
a measure is sometimes procured by selfish motives or a pe- 
cuniary reward. 

The writer was well acquainted with him during his twen- 
ty-six years' residence in this place, and has never heard a 
harsh or unkind word spoken of him. 

He has several children yet living in the city. His eldest 
daughter is the present wife of Mr. Alfred Harrison, a promi- 
nent banker. Three of his sons are living, Samuel, James and 
George. Samuel and James are partners in one of the largest 
printing establishments in the State, the " Indianapolis Daily 
Journal,'' that had descended from their father's paper. Mr. 
Douglass died about the year 1850, respected by all who knew 
him, and his death much regretted. 


Were I to omit speaking of Archy, as he was thirty years 
ago, it would be passing over the name of one who contrib- 
uted in his way a great deal to the merriment of the fun-lov- 
ing citizens of Indianapolis. 

Archy came to this place in 1826, a red-hot, full-blooded 
Kentuckian, and for several years pursued his avocation, that 
of plastering, until he was finally overtaken by a too fond in- 
dulgence in the use of ardent spirits, and which for several 
years rendered him useless to his family and a burthen to him- 
self When drinking he seemed to think he was commander- 
in-chief of the army ; he would dress himself in the United 
States uniform and with a martial air parade the streets, and 
has often declared the town under martial law. 

He would sometimes call all the ends of the earth to come 
unto him, never omitting, however, to except one, who had 
incurred his displeasure, this one he would assign to a coun- 
try or place said to be rather warm than pleasant. 

About this time he went to Doctor Mcars and told the Doc- 

Nathan Davis. 187 

tor he wished he would give him something to kill him. The 
J/octor gave him a large dose of tartar emetic in a glass of 
brandy, which he drank without ever making a wry face. (See 
sketch of Dr. Mears). 

When Archy first came to Indianapolis he boarded at one 
of the "taverns" of the place. On one occasion several of 
the boarders of the other taverns and boarding-houses were 
speaking of the ftire their diflferent landlords gave them. Ar- 
chy said he thought that his landlady gave her boarders the 
greatest variety of any tavern in the town. He said they had 
three kinds of meat, ram, sheep and mutton ; three kinds of 
vegetables, boiled potatoes with the skins on, boiled potatoes 
with the skins off, and fried potatoes ; two kinds of bread, 
corn bread baked in a skillet, and corn bread baked on a grid- 
dle ; two kinds of milk, buttermilk and sour milk; he said 
they had but one kind of fruit pie, and that was pumpkin 

Archy has about lived out the three score and ten years 
generally allotted to man, and I think is indebted to Doctor 
Mears for having lived the last twenty-five years of it. 


About the time of which I am now writing, 1826, there 
lived in Indianapolis a hatter known to the citizens as " Hon- 
est Nathan," His shop, as well as his residence, was on the 
north side of Washington, between Meridian and Illinois 

" Honest Nathan " was not overstocked with either energy 
or industry, and was content if he could transform coon skins 
enough, into something he called hats, to provide for the daily 
demands and comforts of his family. In one of his hats there 
would be material enough to make a dozen of Ike Davis' fash- 
ionable hats of the present day ; and like his predecessor. 
John Shuuk, sometimes required his customers to furnish their 

188 Early Eeminisccnces. 

own coon, which wore generally caught the night before they 
were needed by the hatter. 

Before he made this place his residence he had lived on 
Blue River, about twenty-five miles east of this. One day, 
just before noon, two of his old neighbors and friends from 
his latter residence called, and were invited to have their hor- 
ses fed and stay to dinner; which invitation they readily ac- 
cepted. The worthy hatter brought out his bottle of "bayou 
blue," at the same time remarking that his neighbor, Doctor 
Scudder, had some very fine Madeira wine, and as it had been 
sometime since they had taken a "jorum" together he would 
step in and get some. The Doctor not being at his shop, Mr, 
Davis took the liberty to hunt up his wine bottle, which he 
found, but did not notice on the label the abreviation of 
" anti " going before wine. 

From this bottle his friends and himself drank pretty freely. 
After dinner, and before resuming their journey, the three 
took a parting drink together, the travelers speaking in the 
highest terms of the Doctor's Madeira. They had crossed the 
river at the grave yard ford, and found themselves so sick 
they could neither proceed on their journey or retrace their 
steps to their friends' house. They laid down under a tree 
ani left their horses to graze at pleasure. 

A farmer passing by on his way to town, they sent word to 
the worthy hatter that they were " pizened," and to come and 
bring the Doctor as quick as possible, for they would certainly 
die if they did not soon have relief. When the messenger 
arrived at Mr. Davis' he found him in the same situation, 
"heaving and pitching," and crying to the Doctor (who had 
just returned) for help, or he would surely die. 

The Doctor inquired what they had eat or drank. " We only 
drank some of your wine." On examination of the bottle, he 
told him they had drank enough to start Mount Vesuvius. 
He hurried to the travelers to give them the only help and 

CharUs C. Campbell. 189 

consolation in his power, that in due time the Madeira would 
work OUT all well, and that they would be better before they 
could possibly be much worse. The hatter lived here many 
years after this occurrence, but never outlived hearing of it 
from his neighbors. 


Charles has been so long in this city that he has almost be- 
come a part of it, at least as much so as the State House, or 
the Governor's Circle. 

Mr. C. first came to this place as an apprentice to the tail- 
oring business. After his apprenticeship was out he carried 
on the business for a short time, long enough, however, to 
learn that it could not be carried on without work, and ar- 
rived at the conclusion that it was about as easy for a needle 
to go through the eye of a camel as it was for a Campbell to 
sit cross-legged all day on a broad board and pull a needle 
through tammy cloth, with nothing but a goose (tailor's) for 
a companion. 

Charles has held several offices of trust and emolument, 
such as sherifi", deputy sheriff and receiver of public moneys. 
He made a good and efficient officer, and was never known to 
unnecessarily oppress or put to trouble those with whom he 
had official business. 

Although he is not a professional juryman, he has served 
his country in that capacity a great deal, hardly ever being 
objected to, unless some unfortunate descendant of Ham 
should be eniraiied in a suit with a white man ; his well known 
preference for his own race and color might be urged as an 

Mr. Campbell is, perhaps, as well acquainted with the early 
history of this city as any gentleman now living; indeed, he 
knows a great deal his modest}' would prevent his telling. 

He has been an honorary member of all the political con- 

190 Early Bcminiscmccs. 

ventions of both parties for forty-five years, always honoriDg 
them with his presence, and is possessed of many anecdotes 
in regard to them ; he, also, has considerable legislative expe- 
rience as a lobby member. 

He has managed to glide down the stream of time without 
over taxing his physical energies; he lives "at peace with all 
the world and the rest of mankind," in the full enjoyment of 
extraordinary good health, and a conscience reasonably clear. 

In his business career I had forgotten to mention that for a 
short time he engaged in the banking business with Kilby 
Ferguson to the amount of fifteen hundred dollars ; if not a 
silent partner, Charley says he would like it kept as silent as 

Although he has no pretensions to aristocracy, he owns pro- 
perty and lives in the midst of that class of citizens on North 
Meridian street. 

The writer cannot close this sketch without acknowledging 
his obligations to Mr. C. for the privilege of looking at the 
first elephant that ever came to Indianapolis, although he has 
seen several elephants since that cost him more money. 

" He is well paid, that is well satisOed." 


Is a native of the city of New York. He, with his father's 
family, emigrated to the West in 1816, and settled in Dear- 
born County, Indiana. 

In the fall of 1827 he visited Indianapolis on a tour of in- 
spection, and seeking a home for himself and family. 

In the month of April, 1828, with his family, including his 
mother (now 87 years of age), he came to and made this 
county his home. He settled on eighty acres of land about 
one mile south of the donation line, on what is now the Shel- 
byvillc pike, and immediately on the bank of Bean Creek. 

Samuel V. B. Noel. 191 

Here he lived for many years, and was one of our most pros- 
perous farmers. 

About the year 1845 he engaged with his brother, Captain 
Isaac B. Van Houten, and built that splendid steamer, H^udora, 
which they ran between St. Louis and New Orleans. Captain 
Van Houten died in March, 1847 ; then Cornelius took charge 
of and commanded the boat until 1848, when the steamer, 
with twenty-six others, was burned at the St. Louis wharf. 

In June, 1847, my wife and self visited St. Louis, and were 
very hospitably entertained by Mr. Van Houten on board the 
Eudora, and invited to take a trip with him to New Orleans, 
and return. 

By the burning of this steamer he lost a considerable sum, 
and was satisfied with steamboating, at least enough to quit 
it and return to his farm. 

He has several children living in the city. A daughter is 
the wife of Mr. J. J. Graham, one of the business men of the 
city ; another, younger, the child of his second wife, lives with 
her sister; and a son, a young man, who resides with his fa- 
ther and grandmother, Mr. Van Houten being a widower the 
second time. His first wife was the sister of our venerable 
fellow-citizen, James M. Bay, Esq. 


The name that stands at the head of this sketch has beer 
as familiar to the writer, for forty-four years, as that of an} 
person now living, and his acquaintance, like wine, has im 
proved by time. 

Vance Noel, as he is generally known to the old citizens o: 
this city, is a native of Bath County, Virginia. At the ag( 
of three years his parents removed to Harrodsburgh, Merce] 
County, Kentucky, and from the latter place they came t( 
Indianapolis in the fall of 1825. 

In 1828 A^ance engaged with Messrs. Douglass & Maguirc 

192 Early Hcminiscenccs. 

to learn the priutinp; business, in the office of the " Indiana 
Journal." He continued in that office, boy and man, appren- 
tice and journeyman, foreman, partner, and finally sole pro- 
prietor, for nearly twenty years. 

It was while he was engaged in the "Journal" office he earned 
and acquired the reputation he is so justly entitled to for in- 
tegrity, industry and perseverance. 

After he retired from the printing business he engaged in 
merchandising and the produce business, and owing to his too 
confiding nature and disposition he lost heavily. He shipped 
a large cjuantity of grain to a firm that ftiiled, owing him sev- 
eral thousand dollars. Nothing daunted, he still persevered, 
and never seemed to lose any of his youthful energy, being 
always ready to "pick his flint and try again." 

Vance was one of the " bloody three hundred " that went 
forth in 1832 to fight the bloody " Ingeans," and returned 
with a record as bright as any that were engaged in that mem- 
orable campaign, and unstained with blood. 

He was, also, one of the seventeen "Wild Oats of Indian- 
apolis" that journeyed to Tippecanoe Battle Ground in May, 
1840, and shouted as loud as the loudest for " Tippecanoe and 
Tyler too ;" and the few of that seventeen now living will re- 
member the first night out at Eagle Village, where we met 
that veteran dancer Ezikel Benjamin, who danced in the rain 
to the tune of 

" We'll dance aH night, till broad day light, &,c." 

Then, in 1814, Vance, with the Clay Grlee Club, sang — 

" The moon was shining silver bright, 
The stars with glory crowned the night ; 
High on a limb that ' same old coon,' 
Was singing to himself this tune — 
Get out of the way, you're all unlucky, 
Tolk can't come it with old Kentucky." 

l\\ 1841 he was married to Miss Elizabeth L. Browning, 
who was one of the belle's of Indianapolis, and daughter of 

General Robert Ilanna. 193 

Sdmund Browning, Esq., one of our most respectable citi- 

Mr. and Mrs. Noel have thus far floated down the stream 
)f time togetVier, and their hearth-stone has been ever cheered 
)y the voices of little ones. "A babe in a house is a well- 
spring of joy," and they have had their full share of joy in 
his way. 

When I say there is no man in Indianapolis more respected 
)y the old citizens than Samuel V. B. Noel, I but say what 
jverybody knows that is acquainted with him. 


Was a native of South Carolina, but, with his father's family 
ind a number of brothers, came to Brookville, Franklin 
Jounty, at an early day in the history of the Territory. 

He was a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1816, 
hat framed the Constitution with which the Territory was 
idmitted into the Union in that year. 

From Brookville he came to this place as Register of the 
^and Office in 1826 ; this office he held until the election of 
jreneral Jackson as President, when he was removed bv the 
»ld hero in the spring of 1829. 

Old Bob, as he was familiarly called, was quite fond of 
)ffice, and was not backward in offering his services to the 
)eople of Marion County in any capacity, they might be 
iseful ; as he used to say, " he cared not for his own ag- 
grandizement, he only wanted to be useful to the people." 

If not always successful and popular it was no fault of his, 
or no man ever tried harder to be so than he did ; he was 
ilways ready to lend a helping hand at a log rolling, house- 
•aising, or go a friend's security, and on public occasions sing 
I patriotic song ; his favorite one I well remember, " The Lib- 
erty Tree," having lieard him sing it at several fourth of July 

194 Early Reminiscences. 

Although a southerner by birth, he had an innate prejudice 
against slavery and slaveholders^-peculiar to those who live 
in the south that are not owners of slaves themselres ; those 
prejudices he was very careful in speaking of in his day, as 
the time " had not yet come " when they were popular. 

At the time of the alleged murder of Morgan by the Ma- 
sons, the General felt the public pulse on the subject of an- 
ti-masonry, but it did not vibrate very strong in the direction 
he wished. 

The General, like most backwoods politicians of that day, 
wanted a hobby, and determined, if there was a possibility, to 
have one. Just at that time there sprung up a prejudice in 
the country against the people of the town ; this hobby-horse 
he rode until its life was extinct. I have before me a speech 
he made against the village aristocrats that sat on store-boxes 
concocting plans to oppress the honest farmer. 

One of General Hanna's fatal errors was, he calculated too 
much upon the credulity of the people. He was a man of consid- 
erable electioneering tact, and at last managed, with a small 
capital of talent, to reach the Senate of the United States. 

Senator General James Noble had died ; General Hanna and 
Governor Ray had some business transactions in regard to that 
well known tavern, " The Traveler's Ray House Cheap," 
" Traveler's Ray House Cash," which the General kept awhile. 
The Governor appointed him to fill the vacancy in the Senate 
until the Legislature should elect one, which they did in the 
person of General John Tipton a few days after they met. 
General Hanna was a United States Senator some two weeks, 
which was long enough, however, to secure the honor, which 
is considerable, and the mileage, which at that time was a more 
substantial item. 

The General was considerable of a military man, and took 
great pride in arraying the corn-stalk and hoop-pole militia 
in line. I have seen him with the entire militia force of this 

Biley B. Hogshire. 195 

and one or two adjoining counties on parade, when there was 
not a dozen guns among them, mounted on his little, bald- 
faced pacing poney, dressed in the continental uniform of a 
Major General, cocked hat, buff pants and vest, and high top 
boots ; his whole contour would remind you of the cheap pic- 
tures we see of General Washington at the head of his army, 
or crossing the Delaware. 

To Robert Hanna belongs the credit of first navieratins 
White lliver to this point with a steamboat, bearing the name 
of " The General Hanna." She arrived at her dock at the 
Indianapolis wharf and steamboat landing in April, 1831, 
amid the shouts and greetings of the entire population of the 
village. As she was the first, so she was the last, seen here, 
with the exception of the " Governor Morton," whose history 
was a brief one, and is yet fresh in the minds of the people. 

I have taken Robert Hanna as a fair specimen of the early 
politicians and military men of the country. He was a man 
of good common sense, very democratic in his dress and hab- 
its, made no pretensions to be more than what he was, an hon- 
est and upright man, plain and frank in his intercourse with 
his neighbors. 

General Hanna was killed by a train of cars on the Peru 
railroad in the winter of 1858, while coming from his resi- 
dence to the city. 

He has five sons living, V. C. Hanna, Robert B., William, 
Thomas and John. The latter tias been deputy sheriff of this 
county for about three years. 

His only daughter, Catharine, is the wife of a Mr. Hughes, 
a worthy and respectable farmer, who lives near McCordsville, 
in Hancock County. 


With Mr. Hogshire the writer was intimately acquainted 
for the full length of time he was a citizen of Marion County, 

19G Early Reminiscences. 

thirty-three years, and during that time never heard a harsh 
or unkind word spoken of Kiley B. Hogshire ; and in writing 
of him our imagination wanders to the days of by-gone years, 
when the joyful gladness of youthful days shed its enlivening 
radiance on the hearts of the young. 

" Pleased with the present, full of glorious hope," 

he lived to see his children grown up around him, and the 
fondest hope of his youthful days realized, in a great meas- 
ure. But he has gone from the hum of the busy world and 
solved the great problem of life. 

He was born in Worcester County, Maryland, in the year 
1798, and there remained until he had attained his eighteenth 
year, when he settled near Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, 
in the year 1826 ; he emigrated from the latter place to Ma- 
rion Count}', and settled in Pike township, seven miles north- 
west of Indianapolis, in the midst of his political friends ; 
his heart untainted by any desire to injure any one, he soon 
built up a host of personal friends. 

Like most others who settled here at that time, he possessed 
but little of worldly goods, but he had that which was more 
valuable — integrity, industry and perseverance — and which 
always brings its reward. 

The first spring he was in this county he helped twenty- 
eight families to roll logs, burn brush and clear a garden, or 
" truck patch," as it was commonly called, where cabbage, 
potatoes and other "garden sass," as old Mrs. Carter would 
say, was raised. 

A garden spot was generally the first improvement made 
after the settler had raised his cabin, and many is the time we 
have have heard the housewife directing her liege lord where 
and how to prepare it. ,«^ 

He had an extensive acquaintance throughout this and the 
adjoining counties, and perhaps exercised as much influence, 

William R. Hogshire. 197 

politically, as any person in his township. He served as jus- 
tice of the peace for about fifteen years, often officiating 
as peacemaker and settling difficulties between his neighbors 
without their resorting to law or litigation. 

He was among the number of Pike township that in the 
year 1828 cast their ballot for the "Sage of the Hermitage," 
and, throughout his entire life, was a Democrat of the Jack- 
son school, and adhered strictly to its political faith. 

He moved to Morgan County in the year 1837, and there 
died in the fifty-sixth year of his age. He had lived to see 
" the wilderness blossom as the rose," and transformed into 
happy homes for his many friends. He died with a full hope 
of a reunion hereafter with his kindred and friends. 

" He is the happy man, whose life e'en now, 
Shows somewhat of the happier life to come." 


lliley B. Hogshire is represented in this city in the person 
of his son, whose name heads this sketch, and who inherits a 
great many of the father's fine traits of character, and is con- 
sidered one of the true business men of the city. 

William R. Hogshire was selected and appointed Steward 
of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum in the year 1858. This posi- 
tion he held for several years, and then, in connection with 
another of Pike township's good-looking young men, John F. 
Council, as a partner, bought out the retail grocery establish- 
ment of J, J. Bradshaw. 

After keeping this store sometime they in turn sold out, 
and it was during the time that they were out of business that 
Mr. Hogshire received the nomination of the Democratic con- 
vention for County Auditor, and received the full strength of 
the party vote against General McGinnis, the candidate of the 
opposing party. After this he and his old partner, in connec- 
tion with another old citizen, J. B. E. Reid, commenced the 

198 Early Reminiscences. 

wholesale and retail boot and shoe business, at their old stand, 
No. 25 West Washington street. 

While writing of this locality, I am reminded of an inci- 
dent that occurred there over thirty years ago. At that time 
there stood on that ground a small one-story building, in one 
of the back rooms of which was a tiger's lair, kept by two en- 
terprising and well known citizens. At that time this animal 
many fought but few conquered. 

A prominent Wabash merchant, en route to Cincinnati for 
the purchase of goods, stopped over night in the city. This 
merchant was fond of excitement of any kind, especially that 
kind that pertains to the feeding of this animal. He stepped 
into this place to pass an hour and meet old friends and ac- 
quaintances. The animal happened to be hungry and voracious, 
so much so that the gentleman found it unnecessary the next 
morning to pursue his journey farther east, and returned 

I hope my three friends that are there engaged in business 
may be as lucky as these two old sharks were in former days, 
and while they are fortunate, it does not necessarily follow 
that any should be the poorer, but, on the other hand, all who 
give them a call will be benefited, for in 

That establishment they will find 
Boots and shoes of every kind : 
Stocky boots for rainy weather. 
And lighter shoes of finer leather. 

There they will also find those three native-born citizens of 
Marion County, whose genial countenances are as familiar to 
the eyes of the people of Indianapolis as the tune of " Old 
Hundred " is to the ears of our church-going people. In this 
sketch I have noticed the sons of three of this county's old 
and most respectable citizens, and may they, like their fathers, 
retain the good name they now enjoy. 

James B. Ray. 199 


Among the early and prominent farmers of the county was 
Mr. Smock. I remember seeing him early in the spring of 
1821, when he was hunting a location preparatory to purchas- 
ing: at the sale that was to come oflF at Brookville the ensuing 

At that time nothing but gold and silver coin was received 
by the government in payment for land. He had traveled all 
over the new purchase with a considerable amount of money, 
carried on a horse that was ridden by his eldest son, Peter. 
They never entertained any fear of being robbed. 

I doubt very much if they were to start out of the city at 
this time, in a similar way, and it was known that they had 
such an amount with them, that they would travel five miles 
without being robbed, and perhaps murdered, such has been 
the progress in this branch of the industrial art as well as 

Mr. Smock bought the land and made the farm west of 
Pleasant run, on the Madison State road (now owned by John 
Ilcofgen), and there died many years since. 

His two only sons, Peter and Richard, arc well known citi- 
zens of the city, and reside in the southeastern portion. Most 
of his daughters are dead. 


Was one of the remarkable public men of his day. He held 
the office of chief executive of the State for seven years, one 
year by virtue of the office of lieutenant governor, which he 
held when Governor Hendricks was elected to the United 
States Senate, in 1825, and was twice elected for a full term 
of three years each. 

At the time he first became Governor he was a widower, 
and quite a showy and dressy man, good-looking, with the 

200 Early Reminiscences. 

exception that he had one cross eye. He was of a tall and 
commanding form, straight as an arrow, wore his hair plaited 
or wrapped, and hanging down his back in a cue. He walked 
with, or rather carried, a cane, which he flourished in a way 
that denoted he knew and felt the importance of his position 
and the authority vested in him. 

In 1S26 he was appointed, in connection with Generals Tip- 
ton and Cass, a commissioner to treat with the Pottawatamies 
and Miamis of the Wabash and Eel Rivers for certain of their 
lands on these rivers. It was through the influence of Gov- 
ernor Ray that a donation was obtained from the Indians to 
the State of a section of land for every mile of a road one 
hundred feet wide from Lake Michigan, via Indianapolis, to a 
point on the Ohio River, to be designated by the legislature. 

The location of the southern terminus of this road was 
legislated upon for several years, and was finally located at 
Madison, via Greensburg, and is known as the Michigan road. 

Governor Ray was considered a very visionary man, and 
some of his predictions were ridiculed that have since been 
verified, one of which is the present railroad facilities of the 
State and country. 

Governor Ray was the owner of that tavern, known in its 
day as the "Travelers' Ray House Cheap," and "Travelers 
Ray House Cash," and which sometimes brought his excel- 
jency into personal combats with his tenants. 

At one time this house was kept by James Forsee, Esq., at- 
torney and counsellor at law, and who I have spoken of in 
another sketch. He and the Governor had an altercation; 
Forsee got the Governor by the cue, and, for awhile, had him 
in a very disagreeable position ; but the Governor rallied his 
whole strength, got loose from his antagonist, and struck him 
a severe blow over the nose that made it bleed profusely ; just 
then a traveler rode up on horseback with the intention of 
"putting up." Mr. Forsee, anxious to secure a customer, left 

Noah Noble. 201 

the Governor, and running toward the traveler with his face 
bloody, exclaimed, "d — n him, I'll kill him!" The traveler, 
thinking he was after him, put spurs to his horse, and Mr. 
Forsee lost his customer. 

In the year 18-40, at one of the Whig conventions, Isaac 
Naylor, who had been in the battle of Tippecanoe, made some 
allusions to Governor Ray which were distasteful to his excel- 
lency, and which he, at the next Democratic meeting, in speak- 
ing of the battle of Tippecanoe, said, where " Owen, Warren, 
Spencer and Davis fell," and after a pause of a minute or more, 
" and Isaac Naylor lived," which seemed to imply that Mr. 
Naylor had kept himself out of danger. The Governor's man- 
ner convulsed the house with laughter. 

While Governor of the State he registered his name at ho- 
tels and on steamboats as "J. Brown Kay, Governor of the 
State of Indiana, and commander-in-chief of the army and 
navv thereof." 

A short time before his death he advertised for sale a farm 
near Augusta, in this county, his tavern stand in the city, and 
a proposition to build a railroad from Charleston, South Car- 
olina, through this place to the northern lakes, all in one ar- 
ticle. The farm and tavern have been sold, and the railroad 
built, although the latter is not exactly on the plan he pro- 
posed. Governor Ray was a man of ability, but, like every 
one else, had some weak points, which would sometimes in- 
trude themselves upon the public to his injury, and cause 
him to be ridiculed. Such was Indiana's third State Gover- 
nor. He died about the year 1850. 


The fourth Governor of Indiana, was born on the banks of 
the Shenandoah River, in Frederick County, Virginia. When 
his father removed to Kentucky he sold his plantation to a 
Mr. Swearcngin, who was afterward the father-in-law of his son. 

202 Early Beminiscenses. 

Noah Noble returned to Virginia in the year 1819, and was 
married in the same house in which he was born. At an early 
day he removed to Brookville, thence to Indianapolis in the 
year 1826. Governor Noble's father-in-law visited him sev- 
eral times at this place. We remember him as a fine speci- 
men of the " Old Virginia gentleman." 

Lazarus Noble, brother of Noah, had been receiver of pub- 
lic moneys at Brookville, and when the land offices were or- 
dered to be removed to this place, started to remove with his 
family, and ere he had reached the Franklin county line was 
taken sick and died at the house of his friend Judge Mount. 

Noah was then appointed the successor of his brother, and 
immediately entered upon the duties of the ofl&ce, and removed 
his family to this place. 

In 1829 he was among the first removals made by General 
Jackson, and James P. Drake appointed in his stead. After 
this he engaged in farming near the city ; a portion of his 
farm now forms an important part of the eastern portion of 
the city north of Washington street. 

In 1831 he was selected as the Clay candidate, and ran 
against James G. Reed for Governor, and although the Jack- 
son party was largely in the majority his great popularity 
with people not only crowned him with success, but also Mil- 
ton Stapp, who was on the ticket for lieutenant-governor. 
The office of chief magistrate of the State he held for two 
terms of three years each, and although he had attained the 
highest office in the gift of the people directly, his ambition 
was not yet satisfied ; he aspired to the United States Senate, 
a place so long and ably filled by his elder brother, General 
James Noble. In this he was doomed to disappointment, in- 
triguing and less scrupulous politicians outmanaging him. 

He held several other important offices, and came out of 
the political arena with an unsullied reputation as a public 

Henry P. Ctbarn. 203 

man, never yielding to anything that might be construed into 
selfishness, or bring reproach upon him as a public officer. 

In his friendship he was warm and devoted, and confiding 
to a fault. He had a mild and benevolent countenance, and 
a smile for all that either business or circumstances broutzht 
him in contact with. He died in the winter of 1844. 

Governor Noble left a widow and two children, a son and 
daughter. The daughter was the wife of the late A. H. Da- 
vidson ; she died in the summer of 1851, leaving several chil- 
dren who yet live in or near the city. The son, W. P, Noble» 
and his mother, yet reside on a portion of the old farm, and 
near the city. 

" When by a good man's grave I muse alone, 
Methinks an angol sits upon the stone." 


Was one of the estimable citizens Indianapolis gained when 
the capital was removed to it. He, with his family, came to 
this place in December, 1824, only a few weeks previous to 
the time the first legislature convened. 

He had been a citizen of the State since its first admission 
into the Union in 181(5, and was clerk of the Supreme Court, 
and as such came to this city and remained in ofiice for sev- 
eral years. 

Mr. Coburn was a native of Massachusetts, born and raised 
in the village of Dracut, but as an adventurer in search of a 
home and a fortune, he first settled in this State, at Corydon, 
at the time above stated. 

Mr. Coburn was one of the most conscientious men we have 
ever known, honest in his dealings with his neighbors, and 
punctual in everything he undertook. 

He ever took an active part in the cause of education in 
the city and throughout the State, and did, perhaps, more 
than any other person toward bringing into existence the 

204 Early Reminiscences, 

presentfree school system which is such a blessing, especially to 
the poorer classes and laborers of the country, and is educa- 
tinir their children along with those of the wealthy and more 
favored citizens. 

He also took a lively interest in agriculture and horticul- 
ture, and State and county fairs, and was always, from the 
time they were first introduced in the State and county, among 
the exhibitors of fruits, flowers, etc., that had been cultivated 
by his personal labor. 

Although a lawyer of fine attainments he did but little in 
the practice of his profession after he came to this place, but 
contented himself with attending to the duties of his office 
and his large and splendid garden of four acres, which he 
took great pains in cultivating. This garden spot is now al- 
most in the center of the city, and a large portion of it is yet 
owned by his son, the Hon. John Coburn, member of Con- 
gress from the Capital District. 

Mr. Coburn was a very unobtrusive and retiring man, never 
trying to force his opinions, either religious or political, upon 
others, thou2;h firm and decided in them himself. His man- 
uer had in it the afiability and social qualities calculated to 
make all feel easy and at home in his society; was ever 
ready to contribute anything in his power to promote the hap- 
piness of his friends. He was for many years one of the lead- 
ing members of the Second Presbyterian Church, and died in 
1854, regretted by all who knew him. 

Mr. Coburn's eldest son, Augustus, was drowned in Lake 
Superior a few years since. His second son, Hon. John Co- 
burn, raised and commanded the 33d Indiana Regiment in the 
war for the preservation of the Union. He has since been 
twice elected to Congress, and it is to his exertions and influ- 
ence the people of this city are mostly indebted for the pres- 
ent free delivery system, by which they receive their mail 
matter at their doors. 

Samuel GoUlsbsrrg. 205 

A third son, Henry, is engaged in the lumber business in 
connection with his father-in-law, Mr. William II. Jones, an- 
other old citizen. 

In the death of Mr. Coburn Indianapolis lost one of its 
best citizens, the church one of its most active members, and 
the poor a sympathizing friend. 

" The dead are like the Btars by day, 
Withdrawn from mortal eye ; 
But not extinct; they hold their sway 
In glory through the sky.'' 


Was from Berkley County, Virginia, and came to this place 
a young man in 1824. He was a carpenter, and followed his 
business up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1847. 
He had accumulated considerable city property, and left his 
young family in good circumstances. 

Soon after he came to this place he was married to Miss 
Elizabeth, daughter and only child of George Smith, Esq., 
one of the proprietors and editors of the " Indianapolis Ga- 

He left a family of ten children — six sons and four daugh- 
ters — nearly all of whom are still living in the city. His 
second daughter is the wife of Thomas Cottrell, Esq., Coun- 
cilman from the Seventh Ward, and one of the enterprising 
business men of the city. 

His widow was married several years after his death to Mr. 
William Martin, one of the respectable farmers of the county, 
but now a citizen of the town. 

Mr. Goldsberry was esteemed as an honest, upright and 
industrious man ; he was for many years a member of the 
Methodist Church, and died lamented by all who knew him. 

20G Early Reminiscences. 


Became a resident of this city early in January, 1826. He 
was from Falmouth, Kentucky, and inherited that liberal, kind 
and obliging disposition peculiar to that generous-hearted 


The second year after Mr. Wingate became a citizen of this 
place, he was induced by the Rev. Edwin Ray (then the trav- 
eling preacher who visited the place every four weeks) to go 
with him one evening to the old log church on Maryland 
street. The -next evening the reverend gentleman was sur- 
prised to find his new-made acquaintance and friend as one 
of his hearers, and yet more astonished when he invited per- 
sons who wished to become members of the church, to see 
Mr. Wingate come up and give them his hand as such. He 
lived for seven years afterwards, and died an exemplary mem- 
ber of the Methodist Church. 

Mr. Wingate was a bricklayer by trade, but did not follow 
the business long. He was elected a justice of the peace, 
and the fact that there were but very few appeals from his 
docket, was evidence that he generally gave satisfaction in 
his decisions. He died in December, 183-4. 

His wife survived him several years, and became the wife 
of Joshua Black, another old and respectable citizen. 

Mr. Wingate has several children yet living in the city. 
His eldest son living, William, studied law, but never prac- 
ticed to any great extent. J. F. Wingate is one of the live 
business men of the city. The youngest, Edwin, named in 
honor of, and for the gentleman under whose ministration Mr. 
Wingate joined the church, is also a citizen. 

Mr. Wingate's sons, like their father, enjoy the confidence 
and esteem of all who know them. 

Joshua Stexens. 207 


Of Judge Stevens I am somewhat at a loss how and what 
to say, that the reader may get anything like a definite idea 
of the character and peculiarities of the man. 

He was a shoemaeer by trade, and followed the business for 
several years after taking up his residence in this place, which 
was about the year 1824. 

He was elected, and for several years served, as associate 
judge of the county. In this field of public service there 
was but little opportunity for the exercise of his legal ability. 
Wishing for a mor« extended field, he sought for and was 
elected a justice of the peace, and served as such until or 
about the time of his death. 

That he understood his own docket, and particularly the 
amount of costs due him, no one will pretend to deny; but I 
have never seen any one else that pretended to understand it. 
He was prompt in making his decisions, and they were gen- 
erally in accordance to the law and evidence in the case. 

Judge Stevens, like his old and personal friend, Humphrey 
Grifiith, of whom I have already written, early acquired the 
happy faculty of making a little money go a great ways, and 
as his costs accumulated on his hands he laid the money out 
in real estate that was then near the city, and has since be- 
come a part of it. 

A great portion of this property lay betw^u Virginia ave- 
nue and New Jersey street, and extended to the southern 
boundary of the donation, and now forms a very important 
part of the city, which made his heirs quite wealthy. 

He also owned some fine Washington street property. On 
one of those lots, the northwest corner of Washington and 
Delaware streets, he built a three-story brick house, the win- 
dows of which were fifteen light eight by ten glass ; the doors 

208 Early Reminiscences. 

were plain batton. The house is still standing, but the win- 
dows and doors have been modernized. 

His turnout, in which he took his Sunday morning airing, 
was a natural, or rather an unnatural, curiosity ; the whole 
rig and horse would not to-day, if put up at auction in Wash- 
ington street, bring fifteen dollars. The writer was once so 
unfortunate as to have a similar one, and passing one of the 
back streets was beckoned by a waggish gentleman on the side- 
walk to stop ; coming up he congratulated me, and said that 
he had not until that moment known that I was one of the 
heirs of Judge Stevens. Upon my asking why he should 
make such a mistake, he pointed to the horse and vehicle and 
said, " that certainly once was Judge Stevens' family car- 

Judge Stevens was a native of Vermont, and brother of 
Thaddeus Stevens, of Pennsylvania, that figured so conspicu- 
ously in national politics during the rebellion. 

He was a man of more than ordinary ability, and possessed 
a great fund of humor and wit, and was, at times, very sar- 
castic and bitter toward those whose opinions did not run in 
the same channel with his. His speech was short but gen- 
erally to the point, and told upon those it was intended 
for. Out of a large family of children but two survive him, 
his son, Doctor Thaddeus M. Stevens, and a daughter, the 
wife of Mr. Cofi'man, who occupies the old homestead near 
the southern terminus of New Jersey street. 

Judge Stevens was always kind to the poor, and ever shared 
his sympathy with them as well as his means. He died in 
1858, regretted by a large circle of acquaintances. 


Was a native of the "Old Dominion," born in Culpepper 
County in the year 1805. He there learned the book-binding 
business, but ere he had attained his majority came West, and 

Captain John Cain. 209 

for a short tunc worked at his trade in Hamilton, Butler 
County, Ohio. 

In the year 182(3 he came to Indianapolis, when its whole 
population did not exceed eight hundred souls. lie immedi- 
ately commenced, and opened the first book-bindery in the 
place. In 1832 he published a book of miscellaneous poems 
the first book of any kind, with the exception of the laws of 
the State, published in the place ; he also opened the first 
bookstore about that time. 

Shortly after his arrival here he wooed and won the hand 
of Miss Eliza Jenison, the only daughter of the late Rufus 
Jcnison,one of the prominent farmers of the county; she at 
that time, although a child in years, was one of the reigning 
belles of the city. 

At the time Mr. C. first came to this place there were very 
few men that supported the claims of General Jackson to the 
Presidency. Of the two newspapers then here both opposed 
the Old Hero, and supported Henry Clay He immediately 
became known as a warm Jackson man, and was ever found 
in any assemblage of that kind. 

After the election of General Jackson, and in the spring 
of 1829, he was appointed Postmaster, which position he held 
through his eight years administration, and four years of Mr. 
Van Buren's, always taking an active part in political meet- 
ings and elections, and he was so violent a partisan that in 
that ever memorable year, 1840, brought down upon himself 
the displeasure of some of our best and leading citizens, for 
whatsoever his hand found to do in a political way he did 
with all his might. Shortly after the inauguration of General 
Harrison, in 1841, he resigned, but after the disaffection of 
President Tyler, from the Whig party, he was replaced in the 
post ofiice, but held it a short time only. 

It was during the time he was postmaster, and through his 

210 Early Reminiscences. 

exertions, that this was made a distributing office, and also 
the express mail from Washington and Baltimore via the Na- 
tional Road through this place was established by Amos Ken- 
dall, then Postmaster General. 

After he had quit the post office the second time he en- 
gaged in merchandising, but, owing to dishonest clerks and a 
temperament not suited to the business, he was not successful. 

At that time he owned some very valuable city property, 
as well as the farm now owned by Calvin Fletcher, Jr., ad- 
joining the city on the Pendleton road ; he also owned the 
ground where that elegant dry goods mart, Trade Palace, is 
located, and many other pieces of city property, which would 
now make him very wealthy. 

About the year 1847 he sold out his entire property and 
removed to one of the lower Ohio River counties in Kentucky, 
bought a farm and mill, and commenced merchandising again. 
His farm was stocked with negroes, and although he was 
raised in a slave State he did not understand the managing of 
them; he thought, in order to keep them under subjection, it 
was necessary to flog them occasoinally, whether they needed 
it or not, to give them a proper appreciation of their true sit- 
uation and his authority. In consequence of this rigorous 
course the negroes set fire to his mill and store, and almost 
l)tirned him out of house and home. He then, with his fam- 
ily, returned to Indianapolis, and for awhile kept the Capital 
House, which was noted for its fine table, for he had ever been 
a good liver and a bountiful provider for the culinary depart- 
ment of his family ; in living he never exercised any economy. 

In 1853 he was appointed by President Pierce Indian Agent 
for "Washington Territory, and with his eldest son, AndrcAV 
J. Cain, went there and remained some years, and somewhat 
recuperated his damaged fortune, and returned to his family 
and remained until his death in 1867. He died very suddenly 
and unexpected to his family. 

James M, Smith. 211 

John Cain was a generous, warm-hearted man, devoted in 
his friendship, but equally bitter to his enemies ; there was 
no duplicity or deceit in his composition ; there was no mis- 
taking his position on any subject; he never practiced dis- 
simulation in any way ; this, if a fault, was his greatest one, 
and he sometimes made an enemy by his plain, blunt manner 
of speaking. 

As a husband and father he was ever kind and induljrent, 
and a bountiful provider for the various wants of a family. 
When I say no more hospitable man in his house ever lived 
or died in this city, I speak of personal experience of forty- 
one years, and of which many of the recipients yet living will 

He had a very good command of language, and possessed 
fine conversational powers. In person he was about five feet 
eight inches in height, a rotund form, inclined to corpulency, 
and a florid complexion ; in movement very quick and active 
for a person of his build. 

Mrs. Cain is yet living, and a resident of the city, and, un- 
like most ladies, thinks the place of her husband can never 
be filled on this side the grave. As she was ever a devoted 
wife, so she is a weeping widow. 


Was a tailor by trade, a very clever man, but when drinking 
was quite overbearing and quarrelsome. He was a large, pow- 
erful man, without any surplus flesh. Mr. Smith was fond of 
a fight, but it was intimated that he liked to select his antag- 
onist. When drinking he stood upon his dignity, and some- 
times refused to recognize his best and most intimate friends, 
unless there was a chance for a quarrel. 

About the year 1835 there was a Kentuckian, named Na- 
thaniel Vice, who lived a few miles south of town. He was 
not so large a man as Smith, but more active : he was built 

212 Early Itcrainiacmccs. 

like, and as fleet of foot as a deer ; he was never beat in a 
foot race, was never thrown in a wrestle, nor was he ever 
whipped in a fight. His success in the latter amusement was 
attributable as much to his activity as to his strength. He 
used a great deal of language found in the Kentucky vocabu- 
lary only ; in disposition he was something like Smith, i. e., 
quarrelsome when drinking, but, unlike him, he was willing 
to fight any person and under any circumstances. 

One evenino; those two o-entlemen met in front of Morely's 
saloon, that stood opposite the Court House, on Washington 
street. "Good evening, Mr. Smith," said Vice. "I don't 
know you," said Smith. " Ah, sir, you don't know Nat Vice, 
the great boa constrictor of the Universe ; then I will intro- 
duce you to him." Simultaneous with these words Nat 
knocked him into the gutter, and then helped him up, took 
him into the saloon and they drank together as acquaintances, 
and Mr. Smith always recognized him as such afterwards. 

In the year 1844 Mr. Smith went from his shop to his resi- 
dence at the usual time in the evening, in apparent very good 
health, and died within half an hour after he reached his 
house, supposed to be of disease of the heart. 

The last I ever saw or heard of Nat Vice was on the levee 
at New Orleans. He was ofi'erinsr to bet he could out run, 
throw down, or whip any man in the Mississippi Valley, and 
I believe he would have won his bet. 


It is when I attempt to write a fitting tribute to the mem- 
ory of such a man as Judge Morrison, that I feel the magni- 
tude of the task I have undertaken, and my incompetency to 
hand down to posterity and future generations, that they may 
have a proper appreciation of his great legal ability, and his 
many moral and social virtues. 

My acquaintance with Judge Morrison began when I was a 

James Morrison. 213 

boy, and before he had reached the noonday of life. Forty 
years ago I was often his fishins; companion upon the banks of 
White lliver and Fall Creek, he angling for the fine black 
bass with which those streams abounded at that time, and T 
for the tiny minnow he used for bait. 

He was a great smoker, and carried a tinder-box for the 
purpose of lighting his cigars (this was before such a thing 
as locofoco matches was thought of). I have often been at- 
tracted to his place of concealment on the banks of these 
streams by the clatter of his tinder-box, or the curling smoke 
from his fragrant Havana, rising above the bushes. This was 
when the vanities and sorry conceits of the world were stran- 
gers to me, and when my youthful spirit had known but little 
of the evils of this inconstant world. It was upon the banks of 
these streams that I learned much of the true dignity of char- 
acter he possessed, and before either of us thought we would 
ever bear the relation of attorney and client to each other, 
which we did for years afterwards. 

Although my hair is now silvered o'er, and my brow bears 
the marks of time, I have not outlived the memory of those 
happy days in the early history of this city ; the days of so 
much enjoyment that I passed when a boy, and the reflection 
of whose pleasures linger with me yet. 

In the "Indianapolis Journal" of the 22d of March, ISGO, 
I find the followinir announcement of his demise : 

" The early settlers of the State, and the founders of our 
city, are dropping off in such close succession that we are 
warned of the near approach of the time when all shall have 
passed away, and the birth of Indianapolis have ceased to be 
a memory to any, and faded into history. Since the begin- 
ning of the year two have left us, and in the last decade they 
far outnumber the years. We cannot think but with profound 
sorrow of the inevitable hours when all the names so long 
identified with our prosperity and honored as the links that 

214 Early Reminiscences. 

still bind the present to the past, have ceased to speak a liv- 
ing presence, and to offer a living example of beauty, of good- 
ness, and a well spent life. 

" Among all that have left such sad vacancies, no one has 
filled a more prominent place than the Hon. James Morrison ; 
though for some years his failing strength and feeble health 
have secluded him from active life, his presence has been felt, 
his existence has been an influence, and his death is not so 
much the end of a flickering light as the extinguishment of 
a gleam that leaves darkness in its place. 

" He died on Saturday evening, the 20th Instant, of pneu- 
monia, after an illness of several days." 

From the " Indianapolis Sentinel," of the same date, I copy 
as follows: 

" Judge Morrison was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, the birth 
place of Robert Burns, in the year 1796. His parents came 
to this country when he was quite young, and settled at Bath, 
in Western New York. He studied his profession with Judge 
William B. Rochester, a distinguished jurist of that State, 
and when admitted to the bar he emigrated to Indiana and 
located in Charleston, Clark County, where he practiced law 
for many years with the late Judge Dewey, who was one of 
the truly great men of the nation. 

"He remained in Charleston about ten years, and a gentle- 
man who knew him during his residence there, says his devo- 
tion to his family (he was the oldest son) was most remarka- 
ble, and that he was their main reliance. 

" In the winter of 1828-29, he was elected Secretary of 
State by the Legislature, and removed to this city, then a town 
of 1,100 inhabitants, January 1st, 1829. Subsequently he 
filled the offices of Judge of this Judicial Circuit, President 
of the State Bank for ten years, succeeding Samuel Merrill, 
Esq., Attorney General, the first to fill that office, and other 
trusts of less importance. So high an appreciation had the 

James Morrison. 215 

members of the bar for his qualifications for the judgeship, 
that they presented him with five hundred dollars to induce 
him to take it. 

" Of the Clark County bar he leaves but two survivors, we 
believe, Judge Thompson, now in the city, and Judge Nay- 
lor, of Crawfordsville. 

" Of the Indianapolis bar of 1829, the year he became con- 
nected with it, he was, as we recollect, the last, not one now 
left. Harvey Gregg, William Quarles, Hiram Brown, Henry 
P. Coburn, B. F. Morris, Andrew Ingram, Samuel Merrill, 
Calvin Fletcher and William W. Wick, who were his associ- 
ates then, all passed away before he was called to his final 

" As we call the familiar names of those so prominent in 
the early history of the bar of Indianapolis, the convulsive 
throbs of many hearts will attest their worth and the appre- 
ciation with which their memories are still cherished. Yet 
the sadness with which we recur to the ties of early associa- 
tions, and the early friendship of the past thus severed, will 
give place to the cheering thought that those endearing ties 
will he renewed, refined and strengthened in the new life upon 
which they have already entered. 

" Judge Morrison was also identified with the history of 
the church in this city ; he was one of the first class that was 
confirmed here about thirty years ago, and the rite was admin- 
istered by the now venerable Bishop Kemper, of Wisconsin, 
who was then Missionary Bishop of the Northwest. For 
twenty-five years he was Senior Warden of Christ Church, in 
this city, and since the organization of St. Paul's Church he 
has filled the same ofliice in that parish. He w^as educated a 
Presbyterian, but became a Churchman after thorough inves- 
tigation, and remained so with steadfastness through life. 

"Judge Morrison was a man of decided convictions, strong 
prejudices, with fixed habits that only physical inability could 

216 Early Beminiscences. 

change or overcome. He had opinions upon all subjects and 
questions to which his attention was directed, and, as would 
be expected from his peculiar mental organization, they were 
always positive even to ultraism. He was thoroughly a law- 
yer. His eminent talents and active mind were peculiarly 
adapted to the profession in which he attained such high rep- 
utation, only yielding active participation in it when compelled 
to surrender to the great enemy of man. He was learned and 
profound, and had thoroughly mastered the science of law. 

" As a husband and father Judge Morrison was affectionate, 
devoted and indulgent, and he leaves a wife, sons and daugh- 
ters who will, thiough life, cherish the memory of his many 
virtues and unfailing aiiection and kindness." 

I cannot add more than I have said in the beginning of this 
sketch, and what is said in these extracts from the " Journal " 
and "Sentinel," announcing his death. 

" Friend after friend departs ; 
Who hath not lost a friend ? 
There is no union here of hearts 
That finds not here an end." 


The younger and only surviver of three brothers so promi- 
nent in the early history of this city, was born in the city of 
New York. When a boy he came with his elder brother, the 
late Judge James Morrison (who was the subject of the pre- 
ceding sketch), to Charleston, Indiana, where he remained un- 
til his brother's election as Secretary of State and removal to 
this place in the year 1829. He was then quite young and a 
single man, and has remained a citizen since that time. 

His first business, after acting for some time as his brother's 
clerk in the office of Secretary of State, was that of merchan- 
dising in connection with John G. Brown, then one of our 
prominent and wealthy citizens. Their house of business was 
on the northwest corner of Washington and Pennsylvania 

William 11. Morrison. 217 

streets, where for several years he was a successful and popu- 
lar merchant, enjoying the confidence of all who knew him. 
During this time he was a stockholder in and a director of 
the branch of the State Bank of Indiana in this city. 

He possesses many of the fine traits of character so con- 
spicuous in his brother, Judge Morrison. Warm and devoted 
in his friendship ; and when the citadel of his heart is once 
gained and possessed by a friend, no efi'ort of enemies can 
change it. He is also strong in his prejudices ; but if he finds 
himself in the wrong he is quick to make the amende honor- 
able, and set himself aright. He never suffers selfish or grov- 
eling feelings to mar the cordiality of affection or interfere 
with motives so upright and honorable. 

Like his brother, he has contributed liberally, and without 
stint, of his means for the erection of churches of all denom- 
inations, and especially for the construction of those two beau- 
tiful temples of worship, Christ's and St. Paul's Episcopal 
Churches. I understand his house has been the home and 
stopping-place for ministers for several years. 

Mr. Morrison has also contributed to the growth and pros- 
perity of the city by the erection of a fine residence on Circle 
street. He also built that splendid business house on the 
northeast corner of Maryland and Meridian streets, known as 
^- Morrison's Opera House," at a cost of $65,000 ] but this 
fine building was doomed to destruction, and it was entirely 
destroyed by fire on the evening of January 17th, 1870, tak- 
ing fire about 9 o'clock, and while John B. Gough was lec- 
turing to a large and fashionable audience within its walls. 

The smoke had scarcely disappeared from the smouldering 
debris before he had, with his accustomed energy, contracted 
for the rebuilding on the same site another fine business house. 
He is now President of the " Indiana Banking Company." 
I called at the bank a few days since and found him at his 
desk, giving to his business the same attention as was his wont 

218 Early Reminiscences. 

to do some thirty years ago, and with the same dignified and 
courteous deportment so characteristic of him. 


The brother of Judge and 'A'illiam H. Morrison, was born in 
New York city, but with his brothers came to Charleston, In- 
diana, in the year 1818. He there learned the printing busi- 
ness. In the Legislature that convened on the first Monday 
of December, 1830, he represented Clark County, and while 
here made arrangements to commence in the spring the pub- 
lication of a weekly paper, to be called the "Indiana Demo- 
crat." In accordance with this arrangement Mr. Morrison, 
with his family, removed to this place early in the spring of 

The "Democrat" was started in the interest of and sup- 
ported General Jackson for re-election to the Presidency. Mr. 
Morrison was a ready political writer, and made the " Demo- 
crat" a spicy paper. Its editorials would compare favorably 
with those of the city papers of the present day. He was 
very bitter toward his opponents, and his articles sometimes 
read as though he had dipped his pen in gall. 

He was engaged from time to time in various kinds of bu- 
siness here during his life. He was one of the " bloody three 
hundred " that in 1832 went out to meet Black Hawk, but all 
returned without any other than their own scalps. 

During the Mexican war he was a quartermaster in the 
army, and it was while there his already feeble constitution 
was greatly impaired. I do not think he ever experienced a 
well day after his return. His eyes, that were naturally weak, 
were almost entirely destroyed. 

Mr. Morrison was a very kind, generous-hearted man to his 
friends, but very bitter to his enemies, or those he had rea- 
son to believe were such. In his social relations and inter- 
course with his neighbors, he was deservedly popular, and a 

Ebenczer Sharpe. 219 

very hospitable man. As a husband and father, he was de- 
voted and indulgent, anticipating every want of his family. 

Mr. Morrison leaves two sons, Will. Alex, and Charles, and 
also two daughters, Mrs. Allison and Mrs. Murphy, who, to- 
gether with their mother, yet reside in the city. 

Major Morrison died in December, 1857, at the age of fifty- 
four, regretted by many old friends and acquaintance. 

" Unfading hope, when life's last embers burn, 
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return." 


To this worthy old gentleman the writer is indebted for the 
most of what little education he has got. After the venera- 
ble James Blake had learned him the A B C's at Sunday 
school, in Caleb Scudder's cabinet shop, Mr. Sharpe learned 
him to put them and the balance of the alphabet together and 
make the b-a ba's, b-i bi's, b-o bo's and b-u bu's, and afterwards 
to spell b-a-k-e-r baker, c-i-d-e-r cider. Although I could 
spell the latter we got none of it, as Mr. Sharpe was by prac- 
tice, as well as precept, a strict temperance man. 

He came from Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, to this 
place in the year 1826. Shortly after he came he opened a 
school in the back part or school-room of the old Presbyte- 
rian Church, on the alley that runs north and south between 
Pennsylvania and Circle streets, north of Market. 

Mr. Sharpe was a man of a fine, classical education, and 
was peculiarly adapted by nature and disposition for the pro- 
fession of a teacher, mild and genial in his manners, and be- 
lieved more in moral suasion to gain the respect and obedi- 
ence of his pupils than he did in the rod, although he some- 
times made a gentle application of the latter, never, however, 
without prefacing its use with a lecture. 

He owned and carried an old-fashioned, repeater gold watch 
that struck the time very musically, by using a spring in the 

220 Early Reminiscences. 

handle ; this he was frequently in the habit of sending to his 
friend, Humphrey Griffith, to compare the time, or to have it 
regulated ; by watching the boys he selected to carry it he 
found out they were in the habit of starting it to striking as 
soon as they had reached the outside of the school-house 
door. He watched the writer, who was also watching him, 
and did not touch the spring until out of his hearing ; conse- 
quently he was always after that selected to carry the watch, 
but was always very careful never to touch the spring within 
a reasonable distance of the school-house, but enjoyed its mu- 
sical strains when distant. Mr. Thomas H. Sharpe tells me 
that he still has this watch. 

Among Mr. Sharpe's pupils were Thomas A, and John D. 
Morris, Hugh O'Neal, Thomas D. and Robert L. Walpole. 
The former has risen to distinction in his profession, that of 
civil engineer ; the three latter might in theirs, had they paid 
that attention they should have done to the example and pre- 
cept of their worthy tutor. 

I doubt whether there is a person in the State to-day con- 
nected with the cause of education, and our general system 
of free schools, that understands the practical part of a teacher, 
or that of the head of an institution of learning, as well as 
did Mr. Sharpe. 

He was ever diligent at his books ; his studies were often 
carried for into the silent watches of the night. He was 
one of i\iQ finest readers we have ever heard, his pronuncia- 
tion loud, clear and distinct 5 his emphasis imparted great 
force to the language. Nor can I forget his daily moral and 
religious instructions to his pupils, by which he gained their 
love and the esteem of their parents. It was evident, from 
the pains that he took in the instruction of his scholars, that 
he indulged the hope that their parents would some day reap 
the reward of his honorable labors in the prosperity of their 

Thomas H. Sharpe. 221 

Often in the absence of a minister was he called upon by 
the congregation to read a sermon, which he would do, and 
impart to it quite as much interest as though it was original 
and the first time delivered. 

He was Agent of State for the town of Indianapolis for 
several years before his death, and was then succeeded by his 
son, Thomas H. Sharpe, Esq., now one of the prominent 
bankers of this city. 

When I recur to the scenes in the old school-house, where 
I spent a short portion of life's early years, I delight in tak- 
ing a retrospective view of those days when our never-to-be- 
forgotten teacher tried so hard to inspire us with the love of 
knowledge and literature. 

Mr. Sharpe brought with him to this place a large family, 
but few of which are now living. He died in the fall of 1835, 
at the age of fifty-six, 

" Pleased with the present, and full of glorious hope." 

His was the largest funeral that had ever been seen in In- 
dianapolis at that time. I do not think there was a vehicle 
in the place that was not in the procession. 


The oldest surviving son of the worthy gentleman who was 
the subject of the preceding sketch, came to this place with 
his father a mere boy, yet in his teens, but well qualified to 
assist his father, as he did, in training " the young idea how 
to shoot." 

About the year 1831, he engaged with Arthur St. Clair as 
a clerk in the Land Ofiice, and had almost entire charge of 
the immense sales of land in this district ; it was then his bu- 
siness qualifications were first developed. 

After his father's death he was appointed Agent of State 
for the town of Indianapolis, a position previously held by 
his father. 

222 Early Reminiscences. 

He was appointed teller in the branch of the State Bank of 
Indiana, and after the retirement of Judge Morris as its cash- 
ier, Mr. Sharpe was appointed his successor, and held the 
place until the affairs of the bank were wound up. 

He then engaged with the late Calvin Fletcher in a private 
bank, and, although Mr. Fletcher is dead, he requested that 
the business of the bank should be continued by Mr. Sharpe, 
and without change, the same as if he was yet living. 

This is one of the highest encomiums that could be paid to 
his integrity, worth and merit ; for no person knew him so 
well as Mr. Fletcher ; they had been associated in business 
near twenty years. 

It is unnecessary to say that he now has the entire charge 
of one of the prominent banks in the city, and does quite as 
large a business as any of them. 

Mr. Sharpe has quite a large family of children ; in the 
person of one of them he has brought down to the present 
time the good name of his father in full, and I hope it will 
be continued to future generations. 

When he first came to this place he ^vas a very active young 
man, and prided himself on his fleetness of foot, and many 
was the race he ran with the young men of the place, and was 
never beaten. He yet steps with an elasticity that leads me 
to believe he would be hard to beat. 


Came from Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky, to this place 
in 1823. He had been used to negro slavery all his life, but 
was anxious to rid himself of the negroes as well as slavery, 
and for that purpose he emancipated his entire stock, both 
old and young. 

But the negroes did not wish to part with Mr. Brown. He 
was scarcely settled in his new home in this city before sev- 
eral families of his former slaves were his nearest neighbors. 

Rev. Edwin Ray. 223 

Tills circumstance speaks volumes in his favor as being a kind- 
hearted man and a christian, and requires no commendation 
from my pen. 

He purchased of Harvey Gregg property on North Merid- 
ian street, where his sou James and a daughter still reside. 
Another daughter is the wife of Stephen D. Tomlinson, an- 
other old and respected citizen. 

Mr. Brown was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, 
and during his residence in this city the associate of Mr. Jas. 
Blake and James M. Ray in many benevolent and charitable 
organizations, and contributed liberally of his means for those 

He was a man of unostentatious piety, unobtrusive and re- 
tiring in his manners, and enjoyed the confidence and respect 
of all who knew him. He has been dead many years, but his 
memory still lives fresh in the hearts and minds of his many 
friends, and his goodness leaves a fragrance behind. 


This talented young minister, in connection with Constant 
B. Jones, was assigned to the Indianapolis Circuit in the fall 
of 182G. The circuit then embraced several of the adjoining 
counties, and it took two weeks to make the round, so that 
one of them was here every Sunday, and the same one every 
other Sunday. 

They preached in the old log church on the 80uth side of 
Maryland, on the corner of the alley between Meridian and 
Illinois streets. It is a well known fact that young ministers 
have, from time immemorial, possessed the faculty of gather- 
ing into their congregations the young ladies of all denomi- 
nations, as well as those outside the pale of any church. 

It is not surprising, then, that the young minister above 
named should exercise a similar influence, as he was young, 
talented and good-looking, and just at that period of life when 

224 Early llemii licences. 

ministers, as well as worldly people, are supposed to be look- 
ing for a partner for life. 

Suffice it to say that every other Sunday, at least, the beauty 
and fashion, as well as those that were not the beauty and 
fashion, of Indianapolis, were assembled in that log church; 
old maids primped their mouths, and young ones cast their 
glances and sly looks. 

The old maids and mothers were not slow in discovering 
that the young minister was frequently found accompanying- 
one of the young ladies home who was not a member of the 
flock, and, oh, what solicitude for the safety of the church, 
and the cause of our blessed Redeemer, was felt and mani- 
fested by them. 

There was a family of five of those church and moral guar- 
dians more exercised than the rest ; they thought that should 
the young minister bestow his affections outside the church 
Methodism would suffer beyond redemption. 

The consequence was, that great preparations were made for 
the young minister when he should have accomplished his 
semi-monthly round ; invitations were showered upon him to 
dine, take tea, etc. Many a yellow-legged chicken's head paid 
the penalty for the young minister's indiscretions. 

Those old maids last referred to usually dressed very plain, 
in the good old Methodist style ; now, it was noticed that a 
curl sometimes hung down behind the ear, supposed to be in- 
tended for the minister's eye, as he was pouring forth the 
word of God to his devout congregation. 

At last one of them, more solicitous for the welfare of the 
church than the others, ventured to approach him on the sub- 
ject, and M'auted to know if he was aware that the young lady 
to whom he was paying attention danced : " Yes, she dances,' 
said she; "Oh my, my, my, brother Ray, she dances; how 
can people be so wicked and sinful !" The only reply she 

T. It Fletcher. 225 

elicited, and comfort she got in her interview with the minis- 
ter, was, " tlie wilder the colt the tamer the horse." 

The young minister married outside the church, the church 
survived the shock, and now, instead of the old log church 
we have eight or ten magnificent Methodist Churches inside 
of the city limits, and at least two hundred within the terri- 
tory that then composed his circuit. 

Edwin Ray was a man of marked ability, perseverance and 
industry. He studied and mastered the Latin and Greek lan- 
guages on horseback, traveling from one appointment to an • 
other, and had he lived even to the meridian of life, would 
have ranked among the first theologians of the country. 

He fell a victim to his industry and zeal in the cause in 
which he was engaged, and died at the house of a friend on 
the Otter Creek Prairie, in Vigo County, on the 15th day of 
September, 1831, in the 29th year of his age. 

He was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, near Mt. 
Sterling, and there entered the ministry, but soon came to 
Indiana, where there was a wider field for usefulness. 

He had but two children, a son and daughter ; the daush- 
ter has deceased several years since; the son, John W. Ray, 
is the present Commissioner in Bankruptcy of Indiana, and 
a resident of this city. 


Came to Indianapolis a boy in July, 1836, and engaged as a 
clerk in the dry goods store of Fletcher & Bradley. After 
the dissolution of partnership of this firm, his uncle, Stough- 
ton A. Fletcher, being the successor, he continued with him 
as clerk, and then as partner, for several years, and since with 
his uncle sometime in the banking; business. He was success- 
i'ul in the accumulation of money while he was with his uncle, 
and made this city his home. 

226 Early Beminiseences. 

He left this place some few years since. For awhile he re- 
sided at Chicago ; now, I believe, he is at Dayton, Ohio. 

About the year 1845 the name of Dick Fletcher, as well as 
that of Horace Fletcher, William Stewart, Ben and Henry 
Horn, were as familiar as household words to the people of 

Mr. Fletcher was considered a first-class business man, and 
possessed more than an ordinary financial ability, and with 
his strict integrity won the confidence and respect of all who 
knew him. 


Like many others I have sketched in this work, would have 
to be seen to be properly appreciated in personal appearance. 
I have never seen anything that resembled him, except the 
English caricature of John Bull ; indeed, he possessed many 
of the qualities claimed for that amiable gentleman by his 
admirers; his weight would be at least three hundred pounds 

He was a very active man. I have seen him jump from the 
floor of his bar-room and kick the ceiling, which was of the 
ordinary height. 

He was an extraordinary man in many particulars. He did 
not know a letter in the alphabet, yet he was well informed 
on most all subjects, especially political. He was blessed with 
a very retentive memory, and when he once learned anything 
it was indelibly stamped upon his mind, and after his wife had 
read to him from the " Cincinnati Inquirer," " Washington 
Globe," or " New York Herald," he would quote from them 
more correct than many persons who had read for themselves ; 
he would speak of what he had seen in them, and used lan- 
guage that would lead a stranger to believe he was a finely 
educated man, when, in fact, he would not know his own name 
if he should see it in print. 

Bazil Brown. 227 

I was an inmate of the same house with him one year, and 
have often read the papers to him, and in five minutes after 
would hear him telling what he had seen in them. 

Ho came to this place from Princeton in the fall of 1829, 
and kept for many years the principal hotel in the place, 
which was the Democratic headquarters of the city, as well 
as that of members of the Legislature. 

It was his custom to retire early in the evening, and was 
the first to rise in the morning. His clerk, Charles Stevens, 
before closing the house at night, would make out the bills 
of such travelers as were to leave early in the morning, and 
Mr. Brown would collect them. 

One morning he handed a stranger his bill ; the man said 
" read it to me." Says Mr. B., " I would rather you would 
read it for yourself." "No," said the man, "you had better 
read it." Mr. B., shaking his head, said, "I have never 
read my customers' bills for them." " Well, I can't read," 
said the man. " Neither can I," said Brown. A bystander 
had to be called to read it for them. 

Mr. Brown was very fond of the society of ladies, and when 
he wished to spend an evening with them had a very good ex- 
cuse to furnish the old lady, in the fact that he was a Mason, 
and was going to the lodge. 

While myself and wife were boarding at the same house 
with him, we often called in his room to see Mrs. Brown. 
One evening, while we were there, the old gentleman came to 
the door ; addressing his wife, he said : " Well, mother, when 
you get ready you can retire, I am going to the lodge." 
"Well, well," said she, "when you get through at the lodge 
come home." After the old man had left, she addressed my 
wife, looking me in the eye, " Melie, when you get old and 
ugly like grandma, Johnny will be going to the lodge, too." 

I am happy to say that, although Mr. Brown was very 

228 Early Reminiscences. 

assiduous in liis attendance upon tlie lodge, it never created 
any unpleasantness between him and the old lady. 

Their greatest trouble was the lack of children of their 
own. They were very fond of them, but Providence had so 
decreed that no little Browns should cheer their fireside. 

When Mr. Brown kept hotel he made his bar-room a very 
interesting place to his guests, and others that might call, by 
his inexhaustible fund of anecdotes, which he told with a 
gusto, and never failed to amuse his auditory. 

He died on the 2d of February, 1849, and his remains lie 
in one of the city cemeteries. 


Came to the vicinity of this place in the year 1827, and soon 
rose to distinction in his profession — that of trapper and hun- 
ter ; indeed, there were but few coons within twenty miles of 
this place but knew him by reputation, and none wished to 
extend it to a personal acquaintance ; or if they knew of his 
intention to call on them, would make it convenient to be from 
home, or, like the ladies of the present day, have him told 
so ; or, if he should come upon them unexpectedly, they would, 
like Captain Scott's coon, come down and surrender, sometimes 
without a strujjgle. 


He Was familiar with every " otter slide," or musk rat hole, 
between Strawtown and the bluffs of White Biver, and many 
an unsuspecting mink fell a victim to his deep laid schemes. 

Mr. Pitts was a man that minded his own business, paid his 
debts, voted the unterrified Democratic ticket, and worshipped 
God according to his own conscience ; he was a back-woods- 
man in every sense of the word. He died many years since. 

His only surviving son, George W. Pitts, yet resides in the 
city, and is one of the coolest men, in his business transactions, 
we have ever known : however, he is not willing to confine his 
coolness to himself, but is anxious to keep his neighbors cool^ 

Thomas McOitat. 220 

alao, at the rate of twenty-five cents per hundred wei<i;ht ; 
where his father once speared the salmon, trapped the otter and 
shot the musk rat, George now cuts and gathers his beautiful 
crystal ice. 

He also has a daughter, the wife of John L. McCormick. 
one of our most enterprising and industrious master carpen- 
ters, who is the nephew of John McCormick, who built the 
first log cabin in Indianapolis. 


Was born and raised in Falkirk, Scotland, and came to the 
United States and settled in Lexington in the year 1816 ; in 
1818 he was married to the daughter of George Lockerbie, 
another of Scotia's sons, whose sketch will follow this. 

Mr. McOuat first visited Indianapolis in the fall of 1821, 
in attendance upon the sale of lots that occurred on the 10th 
of October of that year. He purchased several lots, some of 
which are yet owned by his heirs. He did not move to this 
place until the fall of 1830. 

In the spring of 1831 he bought a stock of goods at Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, and shipped them for this port " on that ele- 
gant double-decker, lower-cabin, fast-sailing steamer ' The 
General Hanna,' " and took a first-class passage himself. It 
was four weeks from the time the noble steamer entered the 
mouth of White River until she entered this port. Mr. 31c- 
Ouat's family not hearing from him after they left Louisville un- 
til their arrival here, were very uneasy about him. Nor was his 
situation a pleasant one. As the steamer wound her way along 
the meanderings of the river, I have no doubt he often thought 
of the land of the thistle, " Ye banks and braes of bonny 
doon," and other beautiful streams of his native land ; he had 
time, and the circumstances were calculated to inspire medi- 
tation. As he was the only person that ever traveled as a 
steamboat passenger from Louisville to this place, I hope the 

230 Early Reminiscences. 

reader will pardon a digression from the main subject, and 
should I get somewhat poetical when writing of our own beau- 
tiful White River, I would still ask forbearance, as 'tis but 
seldom anything of the kind drops from the point of my pen. 

As the beautiful river winds its serpentine course through 
the south-western portion of the State, its waters are covered 
from either bank with various hanging wood and vines, calcu- 
lated to inspire the solitary passenger with thoughts of the 
great Creator and the majesty of his works. But by the stroke 
of the woodman's ax those beautiful scenes have been removed 
and have disappeared, as well as all hope of navigating White 
lliver successfully by steam ; and its placid waters have ever 
been undisturbed by the paddles of a steamer, with the ex- 
ception of those of the late "Governor Morton." 

And now, instead of the scenery I have described, we have 
in their place those beautiful farms extending from this city 
to the mouth of the river, which show that the hardy pioneer 
had been there and brought with him a liberal share of intel- 
ligence and industry, and has made the wilderness the happy 
homes of thousands yet unborn. But enough of this. 

Mr. McOuat was a man devoted to his family and the en- 
joyment of home, and the society of friends. With the Scotch 
poet, he might well exclaim : 

" 1 view with mair than kingly pride 
My hearth a heaven : 0, rapture, 
My Mary's hand in mine will glide 
As Jockie reads the chapter." 

Mr. McOuat died in the fall of 1838, a year long to be re- 
membered for sickness and mortality. He left a w^ife and a 
family of several children. 

George, the eldest son — what shall I say of George, farther 
than that he is one of the wheel-horses that drew the Demo- 
cratic wagon, and has never tired, even when the load was 
heavy and the feed was light, but ever ready at his post ; and 
when the wagon got in the mud (as it has sometimes), he put 

Gcor<jc Lockerbie. 231 

his herculean strength to it and did all in his power to get 
it out. He is one of the business men of the city, owns some 
fine property, and enjoys the unbounded confidence and re- 
spect of all who know him. 

Robert L. and Andrew are engaged in the wholesale and 
retail stove, tin ware and house-furnishing business, and are 
much respected for their probity and their universal kind and 
accommodating disposition to their customers, and liberality 
to the church and benevolent institutions. 

The eldest daughter, Elizabeth, is the wife of Ovid Butler, 
Esq., a retired lawyer, and one of our most exemplary Chris- 
tians and worthy citizens. Another daughter is the wife of 
Obed Foote, of Paris, Illinois, son of Obed Footc, Esq., one 
of the early citizens of this city. 

" Dear to my spirit, Scotland, hast thou been, 
Since infant years, in all thy glens of green. 
Land of my birth, where every sound and sight 
Comes in soft melody, or melts in light. 
Land of the green wood, by the silver rill, 
The heather and the daisy of the hill. 
The guardian thistle to the foeman stern. 
The wild rose, hawthorn, and the lady fern." 


This Birkie "old Scotch gentleman" was born and raised 
in Dumfries, South of Scotland. He came to the United 
States in the year 1809, and for several years lived in Phila- 
delphia. He then migrated to Lexington, Kentucky, and 
there resided until the year 1831, when he removed to this 

Mr. Lockerbie was a man of more than ordinary native tal- 
ent, well read and conversant with Scottish authors, particu- 
larly with the writings and poems of Robert Burns, his favor- 
ite author. 

He had a quotation on the tip of his tongue for most all 

232 Early Ileniiniscenccs. 

occasions. How oft have we heard the old gentleman quo- 
tins: this — 

" Some books are lies fra end to end, 
And some great lies were never penned. 
E'en ministers, they ha been ken'd 

In holy rapture, 
A rousing whid at times to vend 

And nair twa Scripture." 

I have often seen him and his old friend, the late Judge 
Morrison, together talking of the father-land, and relating 
anecdotes and incidents connected with it. He was a man of 
great vivacity and life, and his society was almost a sure anti- 
dote for hypocondria ; his very appearance indicated goodness 
of heart, honesty of purpose and cheerfulness and content- 
ment of mind, a smile and playful remark for all. The old 
man was fond of a glass of Scotch ale or beer, and would ac- 
company his glass with this sentiment : 

" We are na fon, we're na that's fon 
But just a droppie in our ee; 
The cock may craw, the day may daw 
But aye, we'll taste barley brie." 

In height he was about five feet eight or nine inches, quite 
fleshy, round, smooth features, a florid complexion, full, ruddy 
cheeks that hung down, and when he laughed his whole body 
seemed to enjoy it, 

Mr. Lockerbie was invested with a certain dignity, suffi- 
cient to produce a respect that would have been denied an or- 
dinary man, and always commanded it from the high as well 
as low, either of whom he treated with the same courtesy and 
gentlemanly demeanor. 

He was proud of his nativity, and loved to talk of the land 
of the thistle. He possessed much of the agility of youth, 
with a considerable degree of strength for one of his ad- 
vanced age. 

He has a daughter, Mrs. McOuat, and several grand child- 
ren living in the city, of whom I have spoken in the preced- 

Joseph Lofton. 233 

ing sketch. He died in the year 1856, regretted by all who 
knew him, and is worthy this epitaph, written by his favorite 
author : 

" All honest man here lies at rest, 
As e'er God with his image blest. 
The friend of man, the friend of truth, 
The friend of age, and guide of youth. 
Few hearts like his with virtue warmed ; 
Few heads with knowledge so informed. 
If there's another world he lives in bliss ; 
If there is none, he Eiade the best of this." 


The lather of Doctors Sample and Alman Lofton, and Joseph, 
was a native of Davidson County, North Carolina. He came 
to Marion County, and lived awhile in Pike township, in the 
year 1827 ; he then returned to his native State for a short 
time, but again came to Indiana, and lived a short time in 
Lawrence County, but was not satisfied until he was again a 
citizen of Pike township, where he died. 

Mr. Lofton was a Jackson man, and a warm supporter of 
the old hero in all his campaigns for the Presidency, and af- 
terward a strong and warm friend and member of the Demo- 
cratic party. He is well represented in that particular by his 
three sons above alluded to. 

Joseph is one of the wheel-horses of the party in Pike 
township, and 'tis said can make as long and as strong a pull, 
when the load is heavy and roads are bad, as any one ; though 
he is a poor horse to go down hill, he can't be made to back 
and wants to go as fast as possible ; neither does he ever look 
back or balk, but always keeps his collar warm and dislikes 
to pull with a cold one. He is one of the prosperous farmers 
of the county, and trades a great deal in stock of all kinds. 

Dr. Sample Lofton is also a farmer, of "Wayne township, and 
trader, and furnished the government with many fine horses 
during the war. 

234 Early Reminiscences. 

Dr. Alman Lofton is a practicing physician of Augusta, in 
the northwest portion of the county, and is universally re- 
spected as a man as well as a physician. 

Neither of the M. D.'s will allow Joseph to outdo them in 
their devotion to the old party and its principles, although it 
forms a considerable portion of his religion. 

The three brothers are large, fine-looking men, and in their 
personal appearance indicate that they are in the enjoyment 
of a goodly share of this word's goods, with philosophy 
enough to enjoy life as they go along, and in the possession 
of cheerful dispositions, casting a glow of good feelings around 
them, and Joseph's smiling countenance "smiles to the smil- 
ing morrow," and with his social qualities and large fund of 
anecdotes which he relates to his numerous friends, renders 
him a very interesting personage. 


Came to Indianapolis a mere boy in May, 1830, from near Ur- 
bana. Champaign County, Ohio, where he was born on the 
24th of October, 1812. Mr. Hill became a pupil of Thomas 
D. Gregg, who at that time taught school on the corner of 
Market and Delaware streets, where " the young idea was 
taught to firey 

He then engaged with the Steam Mill Company as a clerk 
in their store for three years, at a salary of thirty dollars for 
the first year, to be doubled every year until the expiration 
of the term of his engagement ; for the entire three years' 
services he received two hundred and ten dollars, less than 
some clerks in Indianapolis now get for one month. 

After a short respite he re-engaged with the same company, 
which was composed of James Blake, James M. Ray, Nicho- 
las McCarty and Joseph M. Moore, and remained with them 
until the year 1848. He was then ofi'ered and accepted a 
partnership with Daniel and James Yandes. They, as part- 

John F. Bill. 235 

ncrs, did business three years ; then, as partner of Isaac N. 
Phipps & Co., afterwards with W. W. Wright & Co., then as 
Hill & Wright. Finding that close confinement was impair- 
ing his health, he quit the mercantile business and engaged 
in the manufacture of brick with S. V. B. Noel as a partner ; 
in 1850 changed partners, engaged with Levi Rogers in the 
same business, and in 1856 was a partner of the late James 
J. Drum in the wholesale grocery business. Of the many 
partners that Mr. Hill has had, from time to time, all are liv- 
ing with the exception of his brother-in-law, Mr. Drum ; and 
of the many persons he did business for but two have passed 
away, viz., Mr. McCarty and Joseph M. Moore. 

Mr. Hill is now engaged in the nursery business in the east- 
ern confines of the city, where he owns many acres, for which 
he has been ofi'ered one thousand dollars per acre. He owns 
a fine private residence on North Alabama, between Market 
and Ohio streets ; so the reader will readily perceive he has 
not slept away the forty years he has been a resident of In- 

He is the brother of the first wife of the late Calvin Fletcher, 
likewise a brother of that staid old farmer, Mr. James Hill, 
who, also, resides near the city, and looks as though he had a 
common lifetime yet before him. 

Another brother, William, yet lives in the vicinity, but the 
writer for the past few years has lost track of him, but has 
no doubt that where e'er he be he is trying to " turn an hon- 
est penny," as was ever his wont to do. 

236 Early Reminiscences, 

In the " Indianapolis Gazette " of December 25, 1827, I 
find this allegory. It was supposed at the time to have been 
written by the editor, Mr. N. Bolton, and that he intended it 
(although figuratively) to apply to his uncle, Mr. Nathaniel 


" Truth under fiction I impart, 
To weed out folly from the heart."— Moobe. 

December spread her frosts around, 

And with her whitest snows she dressed 
The rich, black earth ; the frozen ground ; 

Dame nature's cold and chilly breast. 
To sweat, and cure my ague chills, 

I took my morning's early race ; 
It led me through thickets, over hills 

Where nature wore a " blue-cold " face. 
Seated upon a walnut log, 

I gnawed upon my morning prog. 
The trees cracked quite o'er me 
To Boreas' loud blast, 
The sun shined before me ; 
The stream is froze fast. 
When lo ! I saw a human form 

Shivering before me stand. 
Clad quite too light to stand a storm. 

He held to me his hand. 
His robe was hanging on his back, 

His hat a great raccoon-skin cap, 
His eye mocked ebony ; so black 

And scowling deep that eye did snap. 
Such features, and afraid to run. 

In true Dutch rage I cried, 
Good, sir. don't shoot me with that gun 

" Mistake me not," the man replied ; 
" I am, bold sir, a hunter brave ; 

My house is in yon morass fair. 
But hunting lodges still I have, 

All thro' the woods as Avell as there. 

A71 Allegory. 237 

O'er bluff and brook ; o'er stump and stick, 

Thro' this great wild I roam around ; 
I have a blind at every lick, 

High or low ; on tree or ground. 
Apart from human creatures I 

Have lived e'er since I was a boy ; 
I shoot the wild geese soaring high ; 

Come see me squirrel nests destroy ; 
Go where deep Pogue creek's waters dash, 

And o'er old sodden logs down pour, 
'Twas I that peeled that big swamp ash, 

I burnt that hollow sycamore. 
I mustered many a dog and pup, 

I gave command ; a fox they chased ; 
I ripped, when caught, his bowels up ; 

'Twas I that gave to each a taste. 
A ground hog ran up sapling tall, 

At him I took a deadly aim ; 
By bullet then I made him fall, 

By death his carcass lay quite tame. 
Possums all have feared my dogs, 

E'er since one rainy day, 
In hollow trees and hollow logs. 

Full forty they did slay ; 
Or since we watched the pigeon roost. 

Or eke the turkey's nest ; 
By night they made some bite the dust, 

By day I shot the rest. 
These shall suffice : — yet I could name 

A thousand muskrats I have skinned ; 
A thousand more now dread my fame, 

Their ranks, like me, no man e'er thinn'd. 
'Tis thus I sway the small beasts' hearts, 
But yet I act much nobler parts ; 
Old bear and cub, or sick or sound 
I rule the world of bears around ; 
From tree top down to brush heap low, 
I ever stand of beai-s the foe, 
In corn field or asleep in den, 
Robbing a garden or h<\g pen, 

238 Eaiiy Reminiscences. 

I hold a weapon that can send 

His ursine soul to its last end. 

Soon as he grows big enough 

To run abroad and growl quite gruff, 

Upon his track I send a hound ; 

I chase him 'till I run him down ; 

I seize him, weary, by the tail 

If every other hold should fail. 

'Tis then with joy I smile to see 

Him strive to get away from me. 

Next then if he get in a passion 

His back I quickly lay the lash on ; 

I teach him all obedience, 

Or else I learn him impudence ; 

Then thro' his various after ages, 

Whether peace or war he wages, 

I am" — " Bow wow," a voice spoke now, 

" Bow wow bow wow wow wow wow wow." 

I looked and saw, of skin and bone, 

A starving dog came barking on ; 

Impetuously I broke and run, 

Determined man and dog to shun ; 

I turned about ; they both were gone, 

I turned again and toddled on. 

Phil,o Philiatros. 

In the '' Indianapolis Gazette," of February 20, 1826, 1 find 
this ballad, and re-publish it as a specimen of old style liter- 


A lady gay once pensive sat 

All under a willow tree. 

And, " Oh," said she, '* for a wealthy man ^ 

To come and marry me." 

Then up stepped Abner Tompkins bold, 
" Oh lady gay," said he, 
" I am a rich and handsome man, 
And I will marrv thee." 

A Pathetic Ballad. 239 

Then out he took a heavy purse, 
And chink'd it in his hands, 
" All this is mine," said he, " and more 
In houses and in lands." 

The lady's heart was then subdued ; 
" Oh, Abner dear," said she, 
" Receive my plight, thou handsome man, 
All under this willow tree." 

And so he did, but oh, how soon 
Do earthly prospects crash, 
And sad the fate of ladies gay 
Who sell their hearts for cash. 
Too soon she found his boastful talk 
A base, deceitful lure ; 
And he who seemed so very rich 
Now turned out very poor. 

The purse he chink'd held boi-rowed cash 
(Oh vile, perfidious lover), 
And all his houses and his lands 
Were mortgaged four times over. 

Ah, fate, how busy wilt thou be 
Rudely our fortunes moulding. 
That lady never more took tea, 
But took to rum and scolding. 

And Abner Tompkins had his due 
For all his lying speeches ; 
She clawed his visage black and blue, 
And ragged went his breeches. 

And nightly to the pond he'd go 
And sit among the bushes. 
And hear the bull-frogs sullen plunge, 
And crouch among the rushes. 

One night as he sat there, he saw 
A sight that made him shudder ; 
'Twas Mrs. Tompkins floating down 
Without a sail or rudder. 

240 Early Heminiscences. 

" My dear," said he, " you've drown'd yourself 
All in this pond of water, 
And soon as ever I can strip 
I'll in and follow after." 

So off he takes his coat and shirt. 

And eke his ragged breeches ; 

He plunges in — the night wind moans, 

He sinks, the screech-owl screeches. \ 

Now all ye handsome gentlemen, 
Boast not of borrowed cash so ; 
And ladies gay sell not your hearts. 
Lest your bright hopes may crash so. 


The Pottawatamie prophet died suddenly during the winter 
of 1825-26, and, as usual, his death was attributed to witch- 
craft. The surviving relatives determined who was the witch 
and resolved to avenge his death. The unfortunate woman 
(who they selected as their victim), with her husband, was at 
the house of a trader, when two brothers and a nephew of the 
prophet arrived and avowed their determination to kill her. 
They told the family of the trader not to be under any appre- 
hension, as no injury would be done them. 

They then directed the unfortunate woman to sit down, and 
one of them struck her a violent blow on the head, another 
gave her a second blow, and the third cut her throat. 

They then dug a grave and buried her. The husband was 
a spectator to these proceedings, and after they terminated 
was compelled to pass over the grave, that she might not re- 
turn, and was then made to run around a tree and depart as 
though he had escaped without their permission. 

The last manoeuver was to prevent the return of the pro- 
phet to reproach them for sparing the life of the husband. 

This was not the Shawnee prophet, and brother of Tecum- 
seh, that commanded at the battle of Tippecanoe. 

J(im(8 For sec. 241 

The killing of this wonian occurred on Eel lllvcr, :i]>ove 
Logansport. We have had the place pointed out to us fre- 


In the " Indianapolis Gazette," of the 27th of November, 
1827, we find this advertisement: 



Having recommenced his professional labors, offers his services to his 
friends generally. He will attend the several Courts within the Fifth 
Judicial Circuit, and may be found at his office in the second story of 
Paxton & Bates' brick building, in the town of Indianapolis, at any 
hour, except whilst on the circuit. Such business as may be entrusted 
to his care, in the Marion circuit, except in criminal cases, will meet 
with the joint services of James Whitcomb. Indianapolis, January 4, 

Mr. Forsee was from Elkhorn, Franklin County, Kentucky. 
He professed to be a lawyer, but knew as little about it as any 
person we ever knew, to make as much profession as he did. 
He was full of bombast, and used language that he nor any 
one else understood the meaning of. 

To hear him talk you would think him wealthy, and that 
he lived in magnificent style. His household furniture con- 
sisted of one or two old bedsteads, a few chairs, a puncheon 
table, and a few half-starved dogs. 

He wore a cap of coon skin made by drawing the ends of 
the skin together, so that when the cap was on his head that 
part of the skin that covered the animal's nose protruded over 
his, and the tail hanging down his back, the skin retained the 
original shape. The body that containied the head and brains 
of the profound attorney presented a rather bulged appear- 
ance, and he might be thought to be carrying a large-sized 
coon upon his head. 

242 Early Remint^nccs. 

He was a large man, with blood-red hair, his face as red as 
a turkey's uose. His team was a pair of small steers, both 
of which were not as heavy as a common-sized cow. Before 
the steers he hitched an old grey mare, that most likely re- 
sembled " Tarn O'Shanter's " mare Meg. With this team he 
would haul about a third of a cord of wood to town, for which 
he would receive twenty-five or thirty-one cents. He was 
fond of boasting of his rise in the world, and of being an en- 
tirely self-made man, and what a man might make of himself 
with perseverance and industry, and how he had rose from 
obscurity to his high position as a lawyer. He lived on the 
donation line just north of where the " Blind Asylum " now 
stands. He and his son Peter were plowing in a field near 
his house, when the following instructions he was giving Pe- 
ter were overheard : 

" Peter," said he, " take an object and plow direct to it, 
then your furrows will be straight. Just so in life, Peter, you 
must take an object and plow straight to it. It was so with 
me, my son ; I took the law for an object, I plowed straight, 
and my furrows were even. You see, Peter, what I have made 
of myself. I now stand at the head of the legal profession 
in the capital of Indiana, and next to me stands my law part- 
ner, James Whitoomb, Esq., of Monroe County. Peter, you 
have advantages that but few young men enjoy, and you should 
improve them." 

Mr. Forsee's daughter, Mary Jane, partook a great, deal of 
her father's pride as well as looks. Her hair was as red as 
that of her father. She wore it in a water-fall on the top of 
her head. Her face was the color of a turkey egg, but rather 
more speckled. She had a great passion for jewelry, which 
was gratified by her indulgent father. 

She said " it was very difficult to get such articles of jew- 
elry here as her father wished her to wear ; her father had 

The Iloosicr Nest. 243 

sent to ' Sinsinnaty,' by Mr. McCarty, and bouglit her a pure 
silver ring; it cost him three quarters of a dollar." 

Mary Jane was invited to a quilting and log-rolling at Judge 
Mcllvain's. As soon as she was seated at the quilt she began 
to apologize for her lack of jewelry. She said " she had broke 
her ring ; that dad had a large log to load on the dlde, and 
she, in helping him, had broken her ring, and that dad had 
taken it to the dentists to have it fixed, but it could not be 
fixed in time for her to wear it to the quilting." 

She said " in Kaintuck, whar they come from, 'twarn't fash- 
ionable to war jewelry, but she reckoned 'twas case they hadn't 
got none. Dad said nobody wurn't nothin' here that didn't 
ware no jewelry, so he got me that nice ring." 

Mr. Forsee moved from this place to the Indian Reserve, 
thence to California, where he, no doubt, stands high in his 
profession, and can indulge his daughter in her admiration 
for jewelry, and where no doubt Peter has taken an object 
and plows his furrows straight. 

" wad some power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as others see us ; 
It wad frae monie a blunder free us, 
And foolish notion." 


Forty years ago this morning (January 1st, 1870) the car- 
riers of the " Indiana Journal " handed their patrons and the 
citizens of Indianapolis the following lines as their " New 
Year's Address." 

It was republished at the time throughout Europe and 
America, and is worthy of being perpetuated as a graphic 
sketch of Hoosier life. 

It was written by John Finley, a tanner of Richmond, In- 
diana, at that time a member of the Legislature : 

Untauglit the language of the sciiooLs, 
Nor versed in scientiiic rules, 

Early Reminiscences, 

The humble bard may not presume 
The Literati to illume ; 
Or classic cadences indite 
Attuned "to tickle ears polite;" 
Contented if his strains may pass 
The ordeal of the common mass, 
And raise an anti-critic smile, 
The brow of labor to beguile. 

But ever as his mind delights 
To follow Fancy's airy flights, 
Some object of terrestrial mien 
Uncourteously obtrudes between, 
And rudely scatters to the winds 
The tangled threads of thought he spins. 
Yet why invoke imagination 
To picture out a new creation. 
When nature, with a lavish hand. 
Has formed a more than Fairy land 
For us. An Eldorado real, 
Surpassing even the ideal. 

Then who can view the glorious West, 
With all her hopes for coming time. 
And hoard liis feelings unexpressed 

In poetry, or prose, or rhyme. 
What mind and matter unrevealed 
Shall unborn ages here disclose ; 
What latent treasures long concealed 

Be disinterred from dark repose. 
Here science shall impel her car 

O'er blended valley, hill and plain ; 
While Liberty's bright, natal star 
Shines twinkling on her own domain. 
Yes, land of the West, thou art happy and free, 
And thus ever more may thy hardy sons be ; 
Whilst thy ocean-like prairies are spread far and wide, 
Or a tree of thy forest shall tower in pride. 

Blest Indiana, in thy soil 

Are found the sure rewards of toil ; 

The Hoosier Nest. 245 

Where harvest, purity and worth 
May make a paradise on earth. 
With feelings proud we contemplate 
The rising glory of our State, 
Nor take offense, by api>lication, 
Of its good-natured appellation. 
Our hardy yeomanry can smile 
At tourists of the " sea-girt isle ;" 
Or wits who traveled at the gallop, 
Like Basil Hall, or Mrs. Trollope ; 
'Tis true, among the crowds that roam 
To seek for fortune or a home, 
It happens that we often find 
Empiricism of every kind. 

A strutting fop, who boasts of knowledge 

Acquired at some far Eastern college, 

Expects to take us by surprise. 

And dazzle our astonished eyes ; 

He boasts of learning, skill and talents. 

Which, in the scale, would Andes balance ; 

Cuts widening swaths from day to day, 

And in a month he runs away. 

Not thus the honest son of toil 

Who settles here to till the soil. 

And, with intentions just and good, 

Acquires an ample livelihood ; 

He is (and not the little great) 

The bone and sinew of the State : 

With six-horse team, to one-horse cart, 

We hail them here from every part. 

And some you'll see sans shoes or socks on, 

With snakepole and a yoke of oxen ; 

Others with pack-horse, dog and rifle. 

Make emigration quite a trifle. 

The emigrant is soon located, 

In Hoosier life initiated ; 

Erects a cabin in the woods. 

Wherein he stows his household goods. 

246 Early Reminiscences. 

At first round logs and clap-board roof, 
With puncheon floor, quite carpet proof. 
And paj)er windows, oiled and neat, 
His edifice is then complete. 
When four clay balls, in form of plummet, 
Adorn his wooden chimney's summit ; 
Ensconced in this, let those who can 
Find out a truly happier man. 
The little youngsters rise around him, 
So numerous they quite astound him ; 
Each with an ax, or wheel in hand. 
And instinct to subdue the land. 

Ere long the cabin disappears ; 

A spacious mansion next he rears. 

His fields seem widening by stealth, 

An index of increasing wealth. 

And Avhen the hives of Hoosiers swarm 

To each is given a noble farm. 

These are the seedlings of the State, 

The stamina to make it great. 

'Tis true, her population various 

Finds avocations multifarious. 

But having said so much, 'twould seem 

No derogation to my theme 

Were I to circumscribe the space 

To picture but a single case ; 

And if my muse be not seraphic, 

I trust you'll find her somewhat graphic. 

I'm told, in riding somewhere West, 

A stranger found a Hoosier^s ^esL 

In other words, a Buckeye cabin. 

Just big enough to hold Queen Mab in ; 

Its situation low, but airy. 

Was on the borders of a prairie, 

And fearing that he might be benighted 

He hailed the house, and then alighted. 

The Hoosier met him at the door. 

Their salutations soon were o'er. 

The Hoosler Nest. 247 

He took the stranger's horse aside 

And to a sturdy sapling tied ; 

Then having stripped tlie saddle off, 

He fed him in a sugar trough. 

The stranger stooped to enter in, 

The entrance closing with a pin, 

And manifested strong desire 

To seat him by the log-heap fire, 

Where half a dozen Hoosieroons, 

With mush and milk, tin cups and spoons. 

White heads, bare feet and dirty faces. 

Seemed much inclined to keep their places. 

But madam, anxious to display 

Her rough but undisputed sway. 

Her offspring to the ladder led 

And cuffed the youngsters up to bed. 

Invited, shortly, to partake 
Of venison, milk and Johnny cake, 
The stranger made a hearty meal 
And glances round the room would steal. 
One side was lined with divers garments, 
The other spread with skins of varmints, 
Dried pumpkins over head were strung, 
Where venison hams in plenty hung. 
Two rifles placed above the door. 
Three dogs lay stretched upon the floor. 
In short the domicil was rife 
With specimens of Hoosier life. 
The host, who centered his affections 
On game, and range and quarter sections, 
Discoursed his weary guest for hours, 
Till Somnus' all-composing powers 
Of sublunary cares bereft 'em. 
And then I came away and left 'em. 
No matter how the story ended. 
The application I intended 
Is from the famous Scottish poet, 
Who seemed to feel, as well as know it, 
That burly chiels and clever hizzies 
Are bred in sic a wav as this is. 

248 Early Beminiscences. 


This worthy gentleman was one of four brothers that, with 
their father, came to this city at an early day — George, John, 
David and Johnson. Their father, John Holland, Sr., came 
about the year 1826, and for many years kept a family gro- 

John W. Holland came in the year 1830; since which time 
he has been engaged in active business. For some years he 
was a clerk in the dry goods store of Conner & Harrison, and 
then as a partner of the late A. W. Russell. I suppose he 
has cut as much tape, measured as many six yards of calico 
(at that time a dress pattern), weighed as many half dollars' 
worth of coflFee, and taken in exchange therefor as many pounds 
of butter, dozens of eggs, yards of flax and tow linen, and 
pounds of maple sugar, as any person now living in the city. 
He is now the business and active partner in that large and 
popular wholesale grocery establishment of Holland & Oster- 
meyer, on the south side of Maryland, between Pennsylvania 
and Meridian streets. 

Mr. Holland has long been one of the leading members of 
the Methodist Church in this city. We remember him, near 
forty years since, leading the Thursday evening prayer meet- 
ing that worshipped in the first brick church built in Indian- 
apolis, and situated where the " Sentinel " office now stands. 

Johnson, his youngest brother, died many years ago ; George 
only about six months since. John is the only one of the 
original family that came here that is living in the city. 

His son, Theodore F. Holland, is the book-keeper in the 
establishment of his father, a worthy young man. If all 
would do as he did, and expressed himself that others should 
do, i. e., that all who were born in this city should subscribe 
for this book, my humble efforts would at least be a financial 
success. I take this opportunity to thank him for his timely 

Stoughton A. Fletcher, Sr. 249 

Theodore married the only daughter of Thomas M. Smith, 
another of the old citizens of this city, but at present, and 
for a few years past, a resident of Louisville, Kentucky. 


Mr. Fletcher is one of the citizens that came in the second 
decade of the settlement of the city. He came here in Oc- 
tober, 1831, a young man, unencumbered with wife or any 
other valuables, but with a robust and healthy constitution 
an ambitious disposition, industrious and temperate habits, 
and a temperament that suited itself to the surrounding cir- 
cumstances. Such was Mr. F. when we first made his acquaint- 

He did not engage immediately in active business, but made 
his home with his brother, the late Calvin Fletcher. 

In the mean time, June, 1832, a call was made by Governor 
Noble for three hundred good and trusty riflemen, who were 
willing to peril their lives, gird on their armor and march 
against the bloody "Ingins" in defense of the frontier settle- 
ments and the defenseless women and children. 

Mr. Fletcher was among the first to volunteer and arm him- 
self with a long-range rifle, a tomahawk, scalping knife, a 
camp kettle, coff"ee pot, a wallet of hard tack, and went forth 
to meet the dusky Black Hawk, in that ever memorable cam- 
paign, as one of the " Bloody Three Hundred," which lasted 
just three weeks. None distinguished themselves more, or 
returned with brighter laurels to the fireside of kindred and 
friends, than did Mr. Fletcher. This expedition was some- 
thing like that of the king of France, 

" Who with all his men 

Marched up the hill, and then down again." 

Soon after his return from the " Black Hawk War," he en- 
gaged in merchandising in connection with the late Henry 
Bradly. and then with different partners, and alone, and was a 

250 Early Reminiscences. 

successful and popular merchant for several years. Indeed he 
prospered in everything he undertook, which would lead a 
person to think that there was something more than luck in 
success. I hardly know what it is, or what to call it, unless 
it is " true grit." 

He was the first to start as a private banker in the city, and 
is now, and has been for years, one of the leading bankers of 
the place. I understand that he, as well as his brother Cal- 
vin, rendered material and substantial aid to the Government 
during the rebellion, by advancing funds to pay bounties and 
encourage enlistments ; indeed more was to be done in this 
way than by shouldering the musket and enlisting themselves. 

Mr. Fletcher owns some of the finest farms in White River 
valley, and has them worked and conducted in such a way as 
to make them remunerative to him as well as beneficial to the 
country, furnishing employment to a large number of labor- 
ers, and bread and comfortable homes for their families. 
Should I say that fifty families received their support from 
the farms of Mr. Fletcher, I do not think it would be an ex- 

That he is entirely free from the envy of others less fortu- 
nate than himself, I will not pretend to say, for there are 

" Men that make 

Envy and crooked malice nourishment, 
Dare bite the best." 

In thirty-nine years of an acquaintance with Mr. Fletcher, 
we have got to hear the first person say that he violated any 
contract with them, either written or verbal, but lived up to 
it to the letter ; prompt in all his engagements, he expects 
others to be so with him. 

He is a man of warm personal feelings, and if he becomes 
attached to a person will go any length to serve or accommo- 
date him. It was but recently a business man of this city 
told me had it not been for Mr. F.'s friendship for him during 

Sioughion A. Fletcher, Sr. 251 

the war, his family would have been turned out of their home 
and he bankrupt. 

A prominent business man of the city, that has transacted 
business with him for several years, says he has often went to 
him when in great need of money, but was never charged 
more than the regular rate of interest; indeed, if he accom- 
modates a person at all it will be at the regular rates ; he 
never takes advantage of the necessities of his customers. 

He is a man of considerable vivacity and life, and now, as 
well as in his younger days, enjoys a joke, many of which we 
have heard pass between him and his old friend Peck, when 
we were all inmates of the same house several years ago, 

" Wi merry songs an' friendly cracks 
I wat they did not weary, 
An' unco tales, and funnie jokes 
Their sports were cheap and cheery." 

He is not ostentatious in his display of favors, and as far 
as he is concerned it is kept within his own bosom. He is a 
contributor to nearly all the benevolent and charitable insti- 
tutions, although his name seldom stands conspicuous on the 
subscription list. 

He is, also, a man of great firmness and decision, and after 
weighing a matter well in his mind, and coming to a conclusion, 
he is as immovable as a mountain, and his conclusions are 
generally correct, which is one of the great secrets of his un- 
precedented success in business. He is well versed in human 
nature, and it does not take him long to make up his mind of 
those that circumstances or business brings him in contact 

I know several young men that owe all they arc and have 
to Mr. Fletcher's aid and liberality, and are now on the high 
road to wealth, if it has not already been attained. 

He has done, and is yet doing, a great deal for the country 
at large with the means God has placed in his hands; I see 

252 Early Beminiscences. 

evidences of it pass my door daily. In conclusion, I would 
merely say, in the language of Rip Yan Winkle's favorite 
toast, "May he live long and prosper." 


Like his old and particular friend, the subject of the preced- 
ing sketch, came to Indianapolis unburthened with the cares 
of a family, and a stranger to its pleasures. 

He came from near New Haven, Connecticut, to this place, 
in May, 1833. He was the superintendent of the masonry 
and brick work of the State House. 

It was not Mr. Peck's intention to make a home in the West 
when he first came to it, but after being here some two years 
in the capacity above stated, he became so much attached to 
western customs and manners that he concluded to cast his lot 
with his new-made friends and acquaintances, and make In- 
dianapolis his permanent home. 

After the State House was finished (which was in the fall 
of 1836), he had the superintendency and contract for build- 
ing several important houses in difierent parts of the State — 
among which were the Branch Bank buildings at Madison, 
Terre Haute, Lafayette and South Bend. 

He was for sometime, during its prosperous days, a director 
of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad Company, during 
which time its stock was worth from twenty-five to thirty per 
cent, premium. 

He was foremost in getting up the Indianapolis and Terre 
Haute Railroad Company, and accompanied the engineers 
along the route when it was being surveyed and located, tak- 
ing a lively interest in its beginning and then in its comple- 
tion. He was the first treasurer of the company and remained 
as such for several years after its completion ; then its pres- 
ident and a large stockholder. There is no person to whom 
the friends of this popular road are more indebted for making 

Edicin J. Peck. 253 

it what it is to-day — one of the best paying roads in the West, 
and its high and enviable reputation as a well-conducted thor- 
oughfare — than they are to Edwin J. Peck. 

He has been connected with the management of the road 
from its beginning (now nineteen years) up to the present 
time, being a portion of that time its president. He was, also, 
president of the Union Railway and Depot Company, the 
tracks of which are used by the several railroad companies in 
entering and leaving the Union Depot. 

The by-laws of the latter company required that the presi- 
dent of it should be selected from the presidents of the difFer- 
erent railroad companies that ran into it ; but when Mr. Peck 
resigned the presidency of the Terre Haute and Indianapolis 
Company, such was the appreciation of his services that they 
changed their by-laws, and he is yet the Superintendent of 
the Depot and the several tracks that run into it. 

I understand that it is to Mr. Peck the citizens of this city, 
as well as the traveling public, are indebted for having a Union 
Depot at all, most of the citizens thinking it would be an in- 
jury to the cit}'-, and make it nothing more than a way station 
where the passenger would merely pass through without even 
a look at the interior of any of the business houses. In this 
particular especially has his great foresight and wisdom been 
manifest and beneficial to the city as well as to all who travel 
through it. 

He has, perhaps, done as much toward making the city of 
his adoption what it is to-day, as any person either living or 
dead; being liberal and public spirited, he has always aided 
with money, as well as countenance, any enterprise calculated 
to benefit the city and redound to its future prosperity, and 
its social as well as religious and educational advantages. 

He is one of the largest contributors for the erection of 
that beautiful temple of worship, the Second Presbyterian 

254 Early Reminiscences. 

Church, of which he has been an honored member and elder 
for many years. 

He was president of the Indianapolis Gas Light and Coke 
Company for many years, which position he resigned much 
against the wishes of the stockholders, but his two other pres- 
idencies made his labor too much for his physical abilities. 
The Gas Light and Coke Company flourished under his super- 
vision, like every other institution he has had the manage- 
ment of, and he left it in a high state of prosperity. 

He was, also, for sometime one of the directors of the State 
Insane Asylum, a very responsible but poor paying position, 
and such a one as persons are sought to fill who are well paid 
by the self-satisfaction of alleviating the misfortunes of that 
unhappy class of our citizens. 

He also, in connection with Messrs. Blake and Ray, in 1852, 
laid out an addition to the City Cemetery, a want so much 
needed and called for at that time. 

Were I to stop at his public services and liberality it would 
be doing him but partial justice, and the object I have in 
sketchino; him as a character that should be emulated. He 
has never been known to turn a deaf ear to the poor or those 
less fortunate than himself, but has acted upon the scriptural 
principle that " He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the 

He has assisted many persons in business ; and though he 
has never been the person to speak of it himself, we came in 
possession of the fact from the beneficiaries themselves. 

He has furnished means for the erection and carrying on of 
several manufacturing establishments in this city, as well as 
other places, in which his name does not appear to the public. 
He has dispensed his liberality in such manner as he will be 
euabled to witness the good he has done as he passes along, 
and without waiting, as too many do, to let others do it for 

Iloyi. Daniel D. Pratt. 255 

him, and without, perhaps, carrying out one of his wishes, and 
witliout any regard for them. 

With temperate habits, a good constitution and a clear con- 
science, he has managed to get himself a wife, a handsome in- 
come, and the universal respect and friendship of his many 
acquaintances throughout the State. The writer was one of 
the first acquaintances he made in this city, and we have never 
heard an unkind word spoken of Edwin J. Peck. 

His genial manners, universal good humor, kind and oblig- 
ing disposition, has won him hosts of friends. There is none 
that enjoys an innocent joke more than he does, and although 
but a Peck in name he is a bushel in humor. 

" 1 reaiHIy and freely grant, 
He downa see a poor man want ; 
What's na his ain, he winna take it, 
What once he says, he winna break it." 

May he live long to enjoy the prosperity he has done so 
much to produce, is the sincere wish of the writer of this brief 
but truthful tribute to his many virtues. 


This distinguished gentleman, who has within the past year 
been called by the Legislature to surrender one high position 
to accept that of another still higher in the National Legis- 
lature, was for about two years and a half a citizen of this 
place. While here he won the respect of all who knew him. 

I have before me a letter from him in answer to one I had 
written, which portrays in every line the true character of the 
man. Although it was not intended by him for publication, 
I will take the liberty of so doing, as it contains very inter- 
esting reminiscences of his stay in the city. 

Mr. Pratt is a man of fine legal ability, and, as a lawyer, is 
devoted to his profession, and in his character fills that 

"Column of true majesty in man," 

talent, honesty and kindness of heart ; and I am not surprised 

256 Early liennniscenccs. 

that he feels out of phice in the United States Senate, as now 
constituted, for he is a stranger to the scheming intrigue and 
corruption of professional politicians, and will not lend him- 
self nor influence to aid them in their own nefarious and self- 
ish purposes to the injury of the country. 

Twenty years ago that Senate would have been more conge- 
nial to him, when Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Lewis Cass, 
and Stephen A. Douglas were its prominent members ; but 
it is now composed of a far diflFerent class of men. 

Mr. Pratt's great success as a lawyer is attributable to his 
untiring industry and perseverance in studying his profession. 
His tall and strongly built form, keen eyes and dark hair, and 
other decided casts in his features, gives him a noble and com- 
manding air, and displays in his personal appearance the na- 
tive power of his mind to a considerable extent. His record 
in life is one worthy to be read and remembered fresh in our 

The mock marriage Mr. Pratt alludes to may need some 
explanation. At the time he boarded with the mother of the 
writer there was a kind of half-witted fellow working about 
the house, as fire-maker, water-carrier, etc., named Henry 
Wilson. He was about twenty-two years of age, large and 
fleshy, with a considerable share of laziness. 

Henry became very much enamored with one of the servant 
girls, and was teasing her at every opportunity to marry him. 
This fact reaching the ears of Mr. Pratt and an Episcopal 
minister, who was a member of the Legislature, they induced 
the girl to accept the proposition to marry him, and set the 
wedding for a certain evening, and they would get her out of 
the scrape, and at the same time rid her of his importunities. 

This she did, and set the time for the consummation of the 
nuptials. Henry wished to start immediately to White Lick, 
in the neighboorhood of Mooresville, and invite his friends; 

Hon. Dcmicl D. Pratt. 257 

but the affianced bride would not consent to have any but the 
inmates of the house invited. 

Mr. Granville Young was to personate the bride, and the 
clergyman was to perform the ceremony free of charge. Up 
to this time Mr. Pratt had acted as general superintendent 
and next friend to the groom ; he also attended to the making 
the toilet of the bride. 

At the last moment the minister thought he might be going 
too far, and declined to perform the ceremony ; it then de- 
volved upon Mr. Pratt to solemnize the nuptials, which he did 
with all the gravity and composure with which he afterwards 
charged a jury. 

After the happy groom had received the gratulations of 
the company, and before proceeding to the bridal chamber, 
Mr. Pratt prepared him a glass of wine, in which was put a 
copious dose of aloes, the effect of which disconcerted the 
groom in a short time. 

The reader will remember this was when the distinguished 
Senator was quite young, and before he had reached his twen- 
ty-first year. Although thirty-six years have passed away, 
and with them many of the actors in the scene, Mr. Pratt yet 
enjoys the narration of the ludicrous incident. 

LoGANSPORT, Ind., Oct. 19, 1869. 
Mr. J. IL B. Nowland: 

Dear Sir : — My occupation in court has prevented me un- 
til this moment from sitting down and giving you the brief 
sketch you request. 

Born in Palmer, Maine, on the 26th of October, 1813, My 
father emigrated to central New York when I was but a year 
old, so that I have considered myself a son of the Empire 

My father was a country physician and I was raised on a 
farm, and until sent off to school was accustomed to farm 

258 Early Reminiscences, 

labor. After leaving college I turned my face westward, in 
the spring of 1832, when eighteen years of age. For fifteen 
months I taught school in Lawrenceburg and Rising Sun, and 
in the fall of 1833 went to Indianapolis and entered the law 
office of Calvin Fletcher, and took board with your excellent 
mother. I made her house my home most of the time I lived 
in your city. It was a village then, and a very unpretending 
one, with a population of about 2,500 souls. 

When my school earnings were expended, and they did not 
last very long, I obtained odd jobs of writing ; during the 
legislative sessions wrote in the office of Secretary of State ; 
was appointed Quartermaster-General by Governor Noble with 
a salary of fifty dollars a year, and from these sources, and 
the aid I was able to render Mr. Fletcher, eked out an eco- 
nomical living and laid by fifty dollars, which I invested in 
forty acres of wild land. The law knowledge I gleaned while 
a resident of Indianapolis, was very scanty, since most of my 
time was occupied in providing the ways and means of living. 
But, scanty as it was, the friendship of Judge Wick secured 
me a license to practice law, and on March 1st, 1836, I came 
here, where I have ever since remained. 

I recall with peculiar pleasure the period I was a member 
of your mother's family. She was a favorite with the board- 
ers. Her table was always bountifully supplied, and she had 
a kind word for all. To me, young and inexperienced, and a 
stranger, she was more than commonly kind. 

I can recall the names and faces of but few of her many 
boarders — Boyd, Webster, Peck, Dumont, Young, Garret and 
Ramsey occur to me, and a tall man, a printer, whose name 
has escaped me. 

The State House was being built at that time, and many of 
the workmen and two of the contractors, Messrs. Levermore 
and Peck, boarded with her. During the legislative sessions 
many of the members took rooms at your house. 

Hon. Daniel D. Pratt. 259 

I remember the mock marriage to which you allude. It 
was during the session ; the bridegroom was decked out with 
the coat of one, the boots of another, and the watch of a third. 
The dining-room was filled with spectators. A waggish cler- 
gyman, a member of the House, was to have ofl&ciated, but at 
the last moment took a serious view of the matter and backed 
out. Then it fell upon me to join the couple in marriage and 
conduct them to the bridal chamber. It was Young, I be- 
lieve, who personated the female. Never was bridegroom 
more eager or deeply in earnest than poor Henry. To him it 
did not seem out of order that the false bride should be deeply 
veiled. That foolish prank came near costing me my life, for 
when the defrauded bridegroom had recovered from the severe 
effects of the purgative administered, he sought the earliest 
opportunity of attacking me in the dining-room with the carv- 
ing knife. While his system was undergoing depletion he 
was nursing schemes of revenge against the author of his 

During that period the Athenaeum was organized ; it was in 
the nature of a Lyceum. We had written lectures and it was 
well patronized. We also had mock legislatures and mock 
courts. The social condition of Indianapolis was excellent 
at this early period of its history. All well-behaved persons 
had the entree to good society. During the winter social par- 
ties were common. Governor Noble was a very hospitable 
man, and fond of seeing his friends at his house. Morris 
Morris, Mr. McClure and N. B. Palmer gave fine parties. 

There were no railroads and canals in those days in the 
State ; the three leading thoroughfares radiating from Indian- 
apolis were the Michigan road, running north to the lakes 
and south to Madison; the National road, then in process of 
construction, and the road to Lawrenceburg ; the latter was 
the direct road to Cincinnati and was much traveled. 

During the late fall and early winter thivS road was lined 

260 Early Reminiscences. 

with droves of hogs on their way to market. All the roads 
at this season, and, indeed, during the winter, were execrable. 
I remember being upwards of three days in reaching Cincin- 
nati, on horseback, in the fall of 1835. But others will speak 
of these matters with better recollection and authority than 

I left Indianapolis on March 1st, 1836, for this place, sev- 
enty miles distant, and by hard traveling reached here in two 
days. Logansport, at that time, contained about 800 white 
inhabitants. The Pottawatamie and Miami tribes of Indians 
afforded the principal trade which the town then had. The 
merchants were nearly all Indian traders ; Cyrus Taber and 
George W. Ewing were the largest and most influential. Their 
stores were crowded with Indians, All contracts among the 
whites for the payment of money were made payable at the 
next annuity. The " Indian payments," so called, were gen- 
eral settlement days. Silver coin was paid by the Government 
and constituted the principal currency. 

It was a poor time for lawyers in those days, but I found 
several here. I think my earnings for the first year amounted 
to three or four hundred dollars. 

But if the demand for professional labor was little, there 
was no lack of occupation in the pursuit of pleasure, which, 
I take it, is, after all, the substantial and sensible business of 
life. The surrounding forests were grand, filled with game, 
and the red men ; the rivers and lakes were alive with fish, 
and their capture by hook, spear and net was the business of 
the sportsman and idle man, who supplied his necessities, 
and careless of the future grand hunts were organized. When 
the Indians were removed west of the Mississippi, in the fall 
of 1837, nearly all the young men were drafted into the ser- 
vice of the government to aid in the removal. 

Kansas was their " terre incopiita,'^ and many vacant hours 

Hon. Danid D. Pratt. 261 

was spent on the return of the party in telling and hearing 
their wonderful experiences. 

I forgot that you desired simply a personal sketch. "Well, 
I have but little to say of myself. My business, as a lawyer, 
increased by degrees, and journeying on horseback from one 
county to another during the sessions of court, I practiced 
law in what are now the counties of Cass, Miami, Wabash, 
Huntington, Allen, Grant, Howard, Carroll, White, Pulaski, 
Jasper, Marshall, Fulton and Kosciusko. 

Sometimes I would be absent on the circuit for five weeks, 
continuously, before returning home. Content with my pro- 
fession I had very little aspiration for political honors. But, 
in 1847, having been nominated for Congress by the Whig 
party, I canvassed the old Ninth District with Mr. Cathcart, 
and was defeated, his majority being about four hundred. The 
next year, being a candidate for District Elector, I canvassed 
the same district with Dr. Fitch. In 1850, and again in 1853, 
I was a member of the Legislature. In 1856, again a candi- 
date for District Elector, I canvassed a portion of the Ninth 
District in the interest of the Fremont ticket. 

But political life was never agreeable to my tastes. What- 
ever may have been my success at the bar, and of that it does 
not become me to speak, I am satisfied that I have entered the 
arena of politics too late in life to render myself useful in any 
high degree to the country. 

The large and varied interests of a great and c-rowinjr na- 
tion like ours, require comprehensive study and practical 
statesman.ship. Familiarity with State interests and State 
legislation is one thing, while a comprehensive knowledge of 
the agricultural, manufacturing, money, commercial and ship- 
ping interests of the country at large, and its relations, diplo- 
matic and commercial, with foreign countries, is another, and 
quite a difierent thing. 

Late in November, 1837, I was married at llising Sun, to 

2(32 Early Reminiscences, 

Colonel Pinkney James' daughter. She had been my pupil 
six years before while I taught school in her native town. By 
her I have four children, two only of whom are living. My 
oldest son fell in the war. 

In the spring of 1865 I was married a second time, to Mrs. 

This is all that it occurs to me to say. I regard the most 
useful and honorable part of my life that engaged in teaching, 
not to speak of the period above alluded to, while engaged 
solely in that business. I have educated in my law office 
twenty-five or thirty students, most of whom have succeeded 
well in their profession. Experiencing when a poor young 
man great kindness while studying my profession, I have made 
it a point never to charge any student for the use of my office 
and books and such instruction as I could impart. In this I 
have endeavored to do by others as was done to me. 
Yours respectfully, 

D. D. Pratt. 


This gentleman is at present a citizen of Columbus, Bar- 
tholomew County, but was for many years a resident of this 
county, a portion of the time living in the city, and then in 
Pike township. He was among the first to join the Christian 
Church when it was first organized in this place, about the 
year 1833, at which time he was married. 

Mr. Council was a native of North Carolina, born near Fay- 
etteville in the year 1810, where he lived until 1831, when he 
went to Camden, South Carolina, and was living there at the 
time the celebrated proclamation of General Jackson was 
made in regard to nullification in 1832, which was the cause 
of the greatest excitement among the people of that city he 
had ever before witnessed, and caused the shedding of blood 
between the friends of the " old hero " and those of nullifi- 

Thoynas W. Council. 263 

In the year 1832 he became a citizen of this city, and then 
a resident of Pike township ; assisted his neighbors and friends 
in rolling logs, burning brush, raising cabins, and contributed 
largely in labor and means in making that beautiful township 
of land what it is to-day. 

Mr. Council is a man of considerable ability and a fair po- 
litical speaker, and during his residence in this county was an 
active politician of the Jackson school, and was ever ready to 
contribute his time and money with profuse liberality to se- 
cure the success of his party; he was at one time its candi- 
date for Representative of the county in the State Legislature. 

About the year 1842, a man named Carter, who had been 
living near Allisonville, in the north part of this county, 
moved to the southwest part of the State of Missouri. He 
hired a well known mulatto man, named Eli Terry, to drive 
his team, and engaged to work for him one year. At the ex- 
piration of the year Carter proposed to Terry to return with 
him to Indiana, and sold him a horse, saddle and bridle in 
pay for his labor, which Terry was to travel on. Instead of 
taking the north-eastern direction, as he should have done to 
reach this State, Carter struck toward Arkansas and to the 
interior and wilderness portion of Texas. That State had not 
yet become a portion of and one of the United States. Car- 
ter induced Terry to acknowledge himself a slave to avoid 
being interrupted, as he alleged, as a free negro, the laws be- 
ing strict in regard to free persons of color. After Terry had 
made this acknowledgment publicly Carter sold him into 
slavery for six hundred dollars, and he was kept in that con- 
dition for seven long years, when he was released through the 
agency of Mr. Council and two other gentlemen, Mr. Eyman, 
of Lawrenceburg, as a lawyer, and Mr. Harrison, of Hamil- 
ton County. 

The Quakers in and near Westfield, Hamilton County, learn- 
ing the facts of Terry's abduction and sale into slavery, raised 

264 Early Reminiscences, 

a sufficient sum of money to employ a lawyer and defray the 
expense of witnesses, and sent and had Terry released and 
brought home. 

Mr. Council, who had known Terry's father to be a free 
man in North Carolina, and Terry himself here, was induced 
to go as a witness in the cause of freedom, that boon so dear 
to us all. 

I have before me a pamphlet written by Mr. Council, and 
in very good style and language, giving an account of their 
travels and perils, both by land and water, to that distant 
land, and the danger that threatened them after they had 
found the object of their journey of several thousand miles. 
They were pointed to a tree and told that there had already 
been six abolitionists hanged on it, and that if they persisted 
in trying to establish the man's freedom, they would add three 
to the number. 

Although Mr. Council had never sympathized with politi- 
cal abolitionism, he wished justice to prevail though the hea- 
vens should fall, and persevered in doing what he conceived 
to be his duty to God and an unfortunate and injured fellow 
creature. About five years since he removed to Columbus, 
where he now resides. 

His son, John F. Council, to whom I am indebted for these 
facts in his father's history, is a resident of this city, and is 
engaged with his old school and play mate, William R. Hog- 
shire and J. B. E. Reid, in the wholesale and retail boot and 
shoe business, and, like his two partners, is esteemed as an 
upright business man, and a genial gentleman. 

In the short space in which I am compelled to confine my- 
self in these sketches, it is very difficult to do full justice to 
two such persons as the father and the son, the subjects of 
this sketch. 

Henry TutewUer. 265 


Has been a citizen of Indianapolis since 1834. He was from 
Lancaster, Ohio, and like most others that settled here at an 
early day, had but little of worldly goods. He had a good 
trade, industrious habits and a healthy and robust constitu- 

He engaged as a partner with William Lingenfelter in the 
'plastering business, and the fact that two such singular names 
should be associated together as partners, " Tutewiler & Lin- 
genfelter," often caused a laugh from the " new comers," or 
Yankees that might chance to settle in our city. 

Mr. Tutewiler was, and is yet, one of the most energetic 
mechanics, of any kind, in this place. See him when you 
will he is in a hurry, driving his work instead of its driving 
him. We have often met him in diflferent parts of the city, 
within the same hour, overseeing his diflferent jobs of work ; 
and although able to live without work, I do not see any abate- 
ment of his youthful zeal and industry. 

Soon after he made this place his residence he connected 
himself with the Methodist Church, and has ever bore the 
name of a true and consistent Christian, as much by practice 
as precept. He was a member of the Wesley Chapel congre- 
gation when it was the only Methodist congregation in the 
city, and there often listened to those eminent and old-fash- 
ioned ministers, such as James Havens, Allen Wiley, Calvin 
W. Kuter, with many others of less notoriety, and has there 
often met brother Jimmy Kittleman and Francis McLauirhlin. 
jmd heard their loud aniens, accompanied by a clap of their 
hands that would ring through the ears of the congregation. 

Mr. Tutewiler has looked forward through the vista of years 
to his sons as the pride of his old age, and who, as the repre- 
sentatives of his i'amily, were to carry down to succeeding 

2()6 Early Beminisccnccs. 

(generations its respectability, and credit and good name of 
their father, who has not wasted time 

"In dropping buckets into empty wells, 
And growing old in drawing nothing tp," 

but has accumulated sufficient to start his sons in a lucrative 
and respectable business, while he yet remained on earth to 
assist them by his counsel as well as his means. 

Tutewiler Bros, are the proprietors of one of, if not the 
lar"-est, stove stores in the city, where all kinds of copper, 
tin, japanned and pressed wares are kept and sold ; also, nearly 
all kinds of house-furnishing goods, table cutlery, furniture, 
grates, marble and metal mantels — in short, all kinds of hard- 
ware used by house-keepers. 

It is seldom we see such an establishment as theirs even in 
laro-er cities. How different from the first tinning establish- 
ment of this place, that of Mr. Davis, up stairs, on the north- 
west corner of Washington and Pennsylvania streets, and 
when one small room answered for shop, parlor, kitchen and 
hall ; or how different from the stove store of Aaron Grover, 
on the southeast corner of Washington and Meridian streets. 
Could it be possible for these two early proprietors to be 
called from the spirit land, would they not be astonished at 
the improvement made in their branch of business. To please 
their customers seems to be a specialty with Tutewiler Bros., 
and their pleasant and affable clerk, David W. Brouse, whose 
genial countenance is generally met at the threshhold of the 
establishment, as the customers enter. 


Major Pinney is a native of Thetford, Windsor County, 
Vermont, and inherited a considerable of the true Yankee 
chat-acter — industry, enterprise and perseverance. He was 
blessed with a good English education, such as is obtained in 
the common and high schools of Yankeeland. 

Willicnn H. H. Finney. 2G7 

At the ajre of nineteen he enj^a^-ed as a cruard at the State 
Prison of his native State ; served about four years as guard 
and shopkeeper, then as deputy warden, and had entire con- 
trol and management of the prison ; then as clerk in a large 
manufacturing establishment, and early earned the reputation 
of a good business man. He was then appointed aid-de-camp 
in the State militia, and there acquired the title and rank of 
major, which is not bogus; and to be a major in Yankeedom 
meant something. 

In 1828 Major Pinuey first visited Indianapolis as the trav- 
eling agent of the "American Hydraulic Company," in order 
to try to sell to the town, or its citizens, a fire engine. He 
saw most of the leading and business men of the place, and 
they concluded that the people were not able to purchase one 
at that time. He had traveled over his native State, Ne^ 
Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Upper Canada, 
Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ala- 
bama and Missouri, and visited all the towns of note in those 
several States, and found no place that cared as little about 
an engine as Indianapolis. What a change forty years have 
wrought ! 

Now our five steam fire engines are considered inadequate 
for the safety of property, and on occasions powerless for 
awhile to control the devouring element. 

Mr. Pinney, after remaining here a few days, left for Madi- 
son, and was three days, hard traveling through mud and 
mire, in reaching it, thence homeward. 

He returned to Indiana in 1831 and settled at the blue's of 
White River, where he engaged in merchandising, and fol- 
lowed it for several years ; in the mean time he married Miss 
Emily, youngest daughter of Jacob Whetzell. He was ap- 
pointed postmaster at that place by General Jackson, more as 
a punishment for being a Clay Whig than the good-will of the 

268 Early Reminiscences. 

old hero. This he held until the office was removed to Wav- 
erly, a new town that had sprung up within a mile of his place. 
Major Pinney is a very pleasant and agreeable man, and is 
disposed to look on the bright side of sublunary affairs, and 
sees more of sunshine than shade in the lot of man generally. 
Although during the rebellion a strong Union man, he did 
nothin^i- towards furnishing soldiers bearing his name, neither 
could wives be found for them in his family. The writer hopes 
he may yet live to see his hearth-stone surrounded by many 
little Pinneys. 


I notice this man for the purpose of bringing before the 
public the singular fact that he is now living with his tenth 

He came to this place in 1831 a widower, having lost his 
third wife. He soon supplied the last vacancy with a Miss 
Pugh. She also, in turn, died. Then he married Miss Sally 
Cool, his fifth wife. They had not lived long together when 
she applied for and obtained a divorce. As I am not sketch- 
ing " Early Indiana Trials," I shall not go into the details of 
this one. He then wooed and won the heart and hand of a 
Miss Hinsley, a lady of large proportions and size. She bore 
him one son, and, like her predecessors, left her liege lord 
asain free to make the seventh selection, which he did in due 
course of time, and he has continued in selecting and his 
wives dying until he has now the tenth, and from what I learn 
of his robust health and constitution, although he has lived 
out the time generally allotted to man, he may yet enjoy the 
society of his fifteenth wife. This is one of the singular facts 
and incidents that I have selected to assist me in showing the 
great variety of character and men found in the early history 
of Indianapolis. 

If Mr. Boatright was unfortunate in losing his wives, he 

William. Sheets. 2G9 

was very fortunate in not having more than one in his house 
at the same time. 

" I kissed her lips sae rosy red, 
■While the tears stood blinken in her e'e; 
I said, my lassie, dinna cry, 
For ye ay, shall mak' the bed to me." 


Is a native of the " Old Dominion," having been born near 
Martinsburg, in Berkley County. When quite young, in the 
year 1817, came to Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana. He 
there studied law, and for a few years practiced the profes- 

In the winter 1830-31, he was elected one of the clerks of 
the House of Representatives of the Indiana Legislature, an 
office he was peculiarly fitted for, being a fine reader as well 
as penman. 

In 1832 he was elected by the Legislature Secretary of 
State, and then commenced his residence in Indianapolis. 
During this term of office he was married to Miss Randolph, 
formerly of Virginia, a relative of the distinguished states- 
man of that State, "John Randolph, of Roanoke," and 
adopted daughter of President William Henry Harrison. 

When the canal was finished between Broad Ripple and 
this place, about the year 1838, he erected a large Paper Mill 
(the first in the city), and manufactured large quantities, and 
every variety, and furnished nearly all the paper used in the 
western part of this State and the eastern portion of Illinois. 
We have frequently met his wagons in the interior of the lat- 
ter State. 

In 1840 he was again elected to his former position (Secre- 
tary of State) and served another term of four years. Since 
which time he has been engaged in attending to his private 

270 Early Beminiscences. 

He owns some very fine business as well as private property. 
He still resides at his old homestead, where he has lived for 
near thirty-five years. 

In politics Mr. Sheets was an old line Henry (lay Whig, 
and followed the fortunes of that party from its first organi- 
zation, in 1832, until its disrupture after the defeat of its can- 
didate (General Scott) for President in 1852 ; he then, and 
has since, acted with the Republicans. 

In religion he is a Presbyterian, being a member of the 
First Church very nearly the whole time since his first resi- 
dence in this city. 

As an official, he was unexceptionable ; as a man, kind and 
courteous in his intercourse with others, and possessed a great 
deal of native dignity, and, withal, a hospitable man. 

He has a family of several children, all of whom reside in 
or near the city. Such is William Sheets, one of our most 
respected citizens. 


*• A man in many a country town you know 
Professes openly with death to wrestle ; 
Entering the field against the grimly foe. 
Armed with a mortar and a pestle." 

The worthy Doctor, whose name heads this sketch, came to 
Indianapolis in February, 183-4, fully armed as above quoted, 
and entered immediately upon the practice of his profession, 
and has continued it up to the present time. 

Doctor Mears was originally from Philadelphia, but was 
direct from Vincennes to this place. At the latter place he 
had lived a few years, and was there married to Miss Caroline 
Ewing, a daughter of one of its most respected citizens, and 
a pioneer of the West. 

The Doctor is, at this time, the veteran practicing physician 
of the place, and has, perhaps, stood by the sick and dying 

Doctor George W, M^xtrs. 271 

bedside of as many poor and unpaying patients as any phy- 
sician in the State, and with that class of people is universally 
popular, as well as with the wealthy. 

In the Doctor's extensive practice if he should, like the 
^' New Castle Apothecary," have 

"Hurled a few score mortals from the world," 

Like him, too, he has 

*' Made amends by bringing otbers into it." 

He has enjoyed the confidence and respect of the citizens 
of this county and city as a man as well as a physician, and 
no person stands higher in either respect. And in his shop, 
like that of Dr. Hornbook's, will be found all kinds 

**0' doctors saws and whettles 
Of a' dimensions, shapes and mettles, 
A' kind o' boxes, mugs and bottles, 

He's sure to hae; 
Their Latin names as fast he rattles 
As A, B, C. 

When he first came to Indianapolis it was the custom of 
physicians to keep in their shops different kinds of liquors 
for medicinal purposes. One of the "dead beats" of the 
place gave the Doctor considerable trouble in that way when 
he could not procure the article at the groceries. 

One morning he called and told the Doctor if he would not 
let him have any spirits, that, for God's sake, let him have 
something that would kill him, as he was tired of living, at 
any rate. 

The Doctor told him he would give him something, he would 
think, would kill him before he got through with it. 

He mixed a large dose of tartar emetic with some brandy, 
which the patient swallowed with evident self-satisfaction. 
In the course of an hour or so the Doctor was riding near the 
old graveyard, where he found, or rather heard, him in a corn 
field, heaving and pitching, and calling for help. The Dr. 

272 Early Reminiscences. 

informed him that he was in no kind of danger, and would 
certainly be better before he could possibly be much worse. 

About that time he quit drinking, and he told us a few 
days since that he had not tasted spiritous liquor for twenty- 
five years. 

This man I have referred to was in the habit, when under 
the influence of liquor, of calling " all the ends of the earth 
to come unto him ;" if he ever should again he will probably 
not forget the worthy Doctor. 

Although the Doctor has ever had an extensive practice, 
he has never sought to lay up wealth by oppressing his pa- 
tients and debtors, and I have no doubt can show as many 
unpaid bills upon his books as any physician in the city. 

Unlike the " New Castle Apothecary," his fame has more 

" Six miles a'ronnd the country ran. 
And all the old women call him a fine man." 

He at an early day built himself a fine mansion on Meridian 
street, where he yet resides. At the time it was built it was 
the largest family residence in the place, as well as the finest. 
He owns the largest piece of very valuable property of any 
person in the city, over the quarter of a square, in the most 
fashionable neighborhood. 

In religion he is an Episcopalian, and was prominent in 
orsranizingr the first cono-regation of that denomination in the 
city, and yet worships at Christ Church, and was for years 
one of its vestrymen. 

In politics he was an ardent and enthusiastic member of 
that good old National Whig party, now defunct and num- 
bered among the dead. 

He was appointed by the Legislature one of the Board of 
Trustees to direct the organization and management of the 
Institution for the Education of the Blind, and subsequently 

First Fire, Burglary and Homicide. 273 

to superintend the application of the fund appropriated by 
the Legislature for that purpose. 

He was for years President of the Board of Health of the 
city and county, as well as City Physician, all of which he 
filled with entire satisfaction to the public and credit to him- 

Doctor George W. Mears is one of the leading physicians 
of Indianapolis, and is, perhaps, oftener called in consultation 
with his co-workers in the healing art than any other in the 
place. Long may he live to enjoy his enviable reputation, 
both as a man and as a physician. 


It IS a fact that should not be overlooked, and one worthy 
of note, that for the first fifteen years after the settlement of 
Indianapolis we had neither fire engines nor police ofiicers, and 
during that entire time there was but one fire, one burglary, 
and one homicide. 

The fire was that of Carter's tavern, in January, 1825, and 
did its work very efi'ectually, burning down the entire build- 
ing, leaving many members of the Legislature without a place 
to lay their heads. 

The burglary was that of Jacob Landis's grocery, by an 
old man named Redman and his son-in-law, Warner. Suspi- 
cion pointed to them, and a search warrant issued to sheriff 
Russell to search their house. The missing articles were all 
found there, with the exception of a bolt of brown sheeting. 
The sherifi" had noticed that Mrs. Warner was much larger 
in front and more rotund in person than she was but a few 
days before, and suspicioned that there was " something more 
than meal " concealed there, and asked for an examination. 
She was very indignant, that a gentleman should wish to ex- 
amine a lady in her condition ; but the sheriff" could not be 

274 Early Reminiscences. 

put oiF; he had seen too macy women in that situation, and 
never knew one to assume so large proportions in so short a 
time. The examination disclosed the missing goods. The 
burglars were promptly tried, convicted and sent to the peni- 
tentiary for several years. 

The homicide was the drowning of "William McPhersou by 
Michael Van Blaricum, on the 8th of May, 1833. 

It had been known for some time that Van Blaricum enter- 
tained no very good feelings toward McPherson, and had, on 
several occasions, manifested a disposition to ridicule and 
make sport of him. 

McPherson was employed by William H. Wernwag as a 
clerk and time-keeper, while the White River bridge was be- 
ing built. 

Van Blaricum was going to cross from the east to the west 
side of the river in a canoe, and McPherson requested the 
privilege of crossing with him, which was granted. Van 
Blaricum had some augers in his hand which he fastened to 
the bow of the canoe with the rope used for fastening the 
boat, observing at the same time that he intended to drown 
McPherson. When about the middle of the river he turned 
the canoe over, and when in the water grappled McPherson, 
they sank together, and McPherson never rose until brought 
out a corpse. 

At the coroner's inquest finger marks were found on the 
throat of McPherson, which the examining physicians said 
were made before life was extinct. 

Van Blaricum was tried for manslaughter, convicted and 
sent to the penitentiary for a few years. 

Although he had said he would drown McPherson, and did, 
there were none who believed that he intended to do so, but 
only to scare him, and went farther than he intended ; indeed 
he told the writer so himself after he had paid the penalty of 
his crime, and could have had no inducement to lie. 

Hon. Nathan B. Palmer. 275 

The jury must have been of the same opinioo, hence the 
verdict, which was for a shorter time than the burghirs above 
spoken of, and less than a person would now be sent for the 
larceny of a ten dollar watch. 


This venerable old citizen and worthy gentleman is perhaps 
as generally and favorably known throughout the State of 
Indiana as any person now living. He has been a citizen of 
the State half a century, and a great portion of the time in 
active public life. 

No person who was a citizen of the State from 1840 to 
1843, can forget the large, bold signature of "N. B. Palmer" 
affixed to the " State scrip " that was authorized by the Leg- 
islature to be issued by the Treasurer of State in payment of 
its indebtedness to contractors on the public works. 

The name of N. B. Palmer, if not in the mouth of every 
citizen in the State, was in the pockets of many of them. His 
signature was affixed to the two classes of scrip, the old, dated 
in 1840, bearing six per cent, interest, the new, or green, as 
it was it was called, dated 1841, bearing the fourth of one per 
cent, interest. These two kinds of scrip formed for several 
years the principal circulating medium of the State as a rep- 
resentative of money. 

Mr. Palmer was born in Stonington, Connecticut, on the 
27th of August, 1790, and at this writing is some months 
over seventy-nine years of age. In his tenth year, 1800, 
with his mother (his father having died) removed to the State 
of New York, where he remained until 1812, when he, with 
his family, emigrated to Pennsylvania, having, in the mean- 
time, been married to Miss Chloe Sackct, who is yet his 
comfort in his declining years, and a helpmate worthy of 
emulation by the young ladies of the present day. 

Mrs. Palmer has ever manifested a disposition to take the 

276 Early Reminiscences. 

world as she found it, and not try to remodel the order of 
nature, to conform to her own peculiar views and personal 
convenience ; of this the writer can speak understandingly, 
as he was an inmate of her house for one year. 

In Pennsylvania, his new home, Mr. Palmer was soon called 
into public life. The few years he resided there he held many 
ofl&ces of trust and emolument, all of which he filled with 
honor to himself, satisfaction of the public, and the benefit 
of the State. 

In the year 1819 he removed to Indiana and settled in Jef- 
ferson County, where he resided fourteen years and held many 
ofiices of importance ; he was a Representative of that county 
in the Legislature, and was elected Speaker of the House of 
Representatives for the session of 1833-4. 

He was a prompt and efl&cient presiding ofl&cer, at all times 
commanding the respect of his associates for his knowledge 
of parliamentary rules and an impartial application of them 
to cases that might arise. 

At the ensuing session of the Legislature of 1834-5, he 
was elected Treasurer of State, and immediately entered upon 
its duties and removed his family to this place in the spring 
of 1835 ; this position he held for several years, and retired 
from it without the tongue of vituperation or slander ever 
reaching his public acts, which is a very uncommon thing 
with persons who have charge of large amounts of public 
moneys and their disbursement. 

In 1841, after he had retired from the office of Treasurer 
of State, he was selected by the Legislature to examine the 
State Bank and the difi"erent branches, and report their finan- 
cial condition to the next annual session of that body. 

In that office was a great opportunity for corruption and 
speculation, had it been placed in the hands of a person sus- 
ceptible of bribery, or could even be approached on the sub- 
ject; such was Mr. P.'s character I doubt whether such a 

Hon. Nathan B. Palmer. 277 

thing was ever thought of, although at the Terre Haute branch 
a deception was attempted by the cashier which was quickly 
discovered by Mr. Palmer, and the author of it rebuked in 
such a manner that he would never attempt anything of the 
kind'^again, at least with Mr. Palmer. 

When Mr. P. had made his business known to the oflBcers 
of the bank, he was cordially received and invited to proceed 
in his examination in his own way and at his leisure. 

After the examination of the books of the bank, and count- 
ing the office or business paper and bank notes on hand, he 
found a deficit of about twenty thousand dollars ; this the 
cashier told him would be accounted for in the retired paper, 
or bills too much worn for circulation, and were tied up in 
five hundred dollar packages and laid away in the vault of the 
bank, to be exchanged with the mother bank for new paper. 

About ten thousand dollars of this kind of money was 
handed Mr. P., which he counted and returned to the cashier. 
This money had laid in the damp vault of the bank so long 
that the notes adhered to each other, and in counting the ends 
were loosened. 

After Mr. Palmer had returned the packages above named, 
the cashier wished to be excused from proceeding any farther 
with the counting that day, as he had company at his house 
and invited Mr. Palmer to tea. Mr. P. granted the request, 
but declined the invitation to tea. 

When the counting was resumed the next day, Mr. Palmer 
was surprised to find the same packages he had counted the 
day before presented to him again to be counted, although an 
attempt had been made to disguise them by tying the pack- 
ages with a difi"erent colored ribbon from those they were tied 
with when he first handled them. There were other marks 
too familiar to the penetrating eye of Mr. Palmer for him to 
be deceived. Without mentioning his discovery to the cashier, 
he expressed a wish to that functionary to have the directors 

278 Early Reminiscences^ 

called together, which was complied with by the very accom- 
modating cashier. 

After the directors had assembled, Mr. Palmer said to them 
that " he had been received and treated very kindly by the 
cashier, for which he felt grateful to that gentleman, but that 
he relied too much upon his credulity or want of business 
capacity, by presenting him those (pointing to the packages) 
retired bills to be counted again and credited to the bank. 

The cashier at once acknowledged the attempted deception. 
Although the directors must have known the true amount, 
the cashier was promptly dismissed by them, and he left the 

Mr. Palmer was afterwards canal commissioner, councilman 
from his ward, and held several other minor offices. 

When Mr. Palmer held the most important offices was be- 
fore the incumbents were selected because of their national 
politics, but alone for their strict integrity and qualifications 
for the position ; at that time when a man's views as to the 
expediency or inexpediency of certain national measures were 
neither a qualification or disqualification for State or county 
offices, as in the canvass for Governor of the State in 1837, 
both candidates were Whigs, divided on local issues or State 

The first gubernatorial eleetion in Indiana that turned upon 
national politics was that of the ever-memorable canvass be- 
tween Samuel Bigger and General Tighlman A. Howard, in 
the year 1840. Governor Noble, although a Clay Whig, was 
elected over James G. Eeed when the State voted for Jackson. 

Mr. Palmer's whole public life, as well as his private, seemed 
to be without reproach or fault ; and while he was highly ap- 
preciated as a public man, he was no less esteemed as a gen- 
tleman and a citizen. 

He built, and yet owns, that fine hotel that bears his name, 
and has built and owns other important buildings in diflferent 

Fhilip Sweefser. 279 

parts of the city, and is, also, the owner of a fine farm about 
half a mile west of the city on the National road. 

He kept the Palmer House in person from 1844 to 1851, 
and none that ever sat at its hospitable board can forget the 
superabundance of every thing upon it, and the superior style 
in which it was gotten up; without ostentatious display of fine 
table furniture that could not be consumed, the eye met on 
every hand something far more interesting to the empty stom- 
ach of the weary traveler. Very little ever w^ent on that table 
but had been subjected to the strict scrutiny of Mrs. Palmer. 

The writer can never forget the great change he experiencd 
in the transition from that house to that of a Washington City 
fashionable boarding-house. None can realize it but those 
who have tried the latter. 

In religion Mr. Palmer claims the right to worship God 
according to the dictates of his own conscience, and is willing 
that others should enjoy the same high prerogative, and " ren- 
der unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the 
things that are God's." 

In politics he is an old school Democrat in the strictest 
sense of the term, and thinks that, in a political point of view, 
" there is yet a God in Israel." 

He is one of the few links in the chain that connect the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and when he is called 
hence the world will have lost an honest man, and this city 
one of its best citizens. 


Was a native of the State of New Hampshire, born in the vil- 
lage of Morrow, in the year 1705. He was educated at the 
same college, and in the same graduating class with that emi- 
nent Massachusetts lawyer, Hon. Ilufus Choate, and had he 
lived to the age that gentleman did, I have no doubt he would 
have stood equally high in his profession. 

280 Early Reminiscences. 

Mr. Sweetser, for a short time, was a teacher in the Academy 
at Charlotte Hall, Maryland, and it was there, in that capa- 
city, he made the acquaintance of our townsman, Esquire 
William Sullivan. 

From the latter place he came to Indiana, and for a short 
time practiced law in Madison, and from there to Columbus, 
where he resided many years and was one of the most popular 
and successful lawyers in the Fifth Judicial Circuit. 

While at Columbus he became the law partner of General 
James Noble, at that time a United States Senator, and after- 
wards the father-in-law of Mr. Sweetser. They were the prin- 
cipal lawyers in conducting the prosecution against the mur- 
derers of the Indians at the falls of Fall Creek in the year 
1824, and it was the opening speech in that prosecution, 
made by Mr. Sweetzer, that first attracted the attention of the 
people, and the members of the bar particularly, to the Yan- 
kee lawyer, although his forte in criminal cases was defense, 
where he was more at home on the side of mercy ; indeed, he 
was a man of too noble and generous feelings for a successful 
prosecutor, and he has told me himself that nothing gave him 
more pain than to prosecute a criminal. 

In the month of June, or July, 1833, the writer happened 
to be in Columbus on the day that a man named Jones was 
to be hung. A large concourse of people had assembled to 
witness the execution. Among them were many friends and 
neisrhbors of the man that Jones had murdered, all eajier to 
see the law enforced, and the unfortunate man launched into 

It was known that Mr. Sweetser, as the criminal's lawyer, 
had started to Indianapolis (on horseback) only the evening 
before to try and have the execution postponed and the crim- 
inal respited, in order that he might get the case before the 
Supreme Court. There was great excitement and various 
threats made a<»ainst Mr Sweetser if he should be successful. 

Philip Sweetser. 281 

About the last hour he arrived, and had been successful. 
Learning of the great excitement and threats against him, he 
caused the people to be collected together, when he made a 
short speech to them that had the desired effect and allayed 
all bad feclin2:s a<2:ainst himself; he convinced the excited 
people that he had done only what his oath, as a lawyer, and 
fidelity to the interest and life of his client required. 

They found that, amid their own departure from the rules 
of propriety and sober life, he was immovable and determined 
to do his duty regardless of the consequences to himself. 

Although Mr. Sweetser delayed the execution, his client 
was subsequently hung ; he had the satisfaction of know- 
ing that he had done his duty to his client and his God. 

As a lawyer and an advocate, it was remarked of Mr. Sweet- 
ser that he never allowed his dignity to be lowered by vulgar 
or ungentlemanly remarks to the opposing counsel or of their 
clients; neither did he ever use any of the "slang phrases" 
too common at the present day, but at the bar, as in the par- 
lor, was governed by the same rules of propriety that stamped 
him the gentleman. 

Although a fluent speaker, his main strength before a court 
or jury was found in his strong and convincing arguments, 
which he presented with such force as to readily carry con- 
viction to the minds of his auditors. 

Mr. Sweetser had been a constant attendant of the different 
courts that were held in this city from the time he first came 
to the State up to the time of his death, which occurred in 
the summer of 1843. 

He removed his family to Indianapolis in the year 1837. 
He has two sons who are among our well known citizens; the 
eldest, James Noble, who possesses a great many of the father's 
traits of character, and, as a lawyer, considerable legal ability. 
Another, George, has been connected for many years with the 

282 Marly Reminiscences. 

city post office, and is well known to our old as well as new 
citizens. The younger portion of the family still live with 
their mother, who yet makes her home among the many friends 
of her departed husband. 


Was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in September, 1811, 
and, with his parents, removed to Charleston, Clark County, 
Indiana, in the year 1818, where he resided and spent the 
most of his boyhood days, except two years he worked in the 
printing office of Shadrick Penn, in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Mr. Talbott came to Indianapolis with his brother-in-law, 
the late Major Alexander F. Morrison, in the spring of 1830, 
and entered the printing office of 3Iessrs. Morrison & Bolton 
as a journeyman printer. He there continued until that old 
pioneer printer, George Smith, commenced the publication of 
the " Farmer," when he and Matthias T. Nowland (a brother 
of the writer) undertook to do the entire work of publishing 
that paper, doing the compositor's as well as the pressman's 
work, the latter on an old " Ramage Press," and at the same 
time publishing an Almanac for Butler K. Smith. 

When the publication of the " Farmer " was suspended, Mr, 
Talbott quit the printing business and engaged in the employ- 
ment of the Government, with a corps of engineers, in laying 
out the National road, which was then being located through 
the State, and the entire route from Richmond to this place 
lay through a dense forest. He remained in that employment 
until 1835, when he commenced the mercantile business, and 
continued in it till 1847. He was then elected Treasurer of 
Marion County, which he held for one term, and then again 
resumed the retail dry goods business, and prosecuted it suc- 
cessfully for two years, when, in 1853, he commenced the 
wholesale dry goods business-, which was about the first house 

William 11. Talbott, 283 

of the kind in Indianapolis, and the only one at that time. 
It was then considered a rather hazardous undertaking, but 
instead of a failure, as nearly all predicted, he built up a fine 
business, drawinc: a considerable trade from different parts of 
the State that hitherto had patronized Madison and Cincin- 

Mr. Talbott was appointed postmaster in this city by Presi- 
dent Buchanan in 1857, which position, with others, he filled 
to the entire satisfaction ef the public. 

He has done considerable toward the improvement of the 
city ; he has a splendid private residence at the corner of Ohio 
and Tennessee streets, and sonie fine business houses on North 
Illinois street which he has lately improved in a very substan- 
tial manner. 

Mr. Talbott was married in the year 1840 to a niece of the 
late Philip Sweetser, who is yet alive to enjoy his prosperity 
and success in the journey of life. 

Mr. Talbott is a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church 
and a contributor for the erection of that beautiful temple of 
worship. He is a liberal and hospitable man, and enjoys the 
entire respect and confidence of all who know him. He has 
a large family of relatives, most of them living in the city, to 
whom he is devotedly attached, and is a kind and generous 


Came from Charleston, Clark County, to this place iu the year 
1833, and is another that lost nothing by becoming a citizen 
of Indianapolis. He was a mere boy, and lived with his bro- 
ther-in-law, the late Major Alexander F. Morrison. 

Soon after he came here he en2;aged with Daniel A. Webb 
to learn the trade or business of a jeweler. When Mr. Webb 
sold out and left the place Mr. Talbott continued with his 
successor, Elliott K. Foster, until he finished or perfected the 

234 Early Ileminiscences. 

trade. He then, for several years, carried on the business of 
jeweler, which also embraced that of watch repairing. He 
was attentive and assiduous to his duties, and did a larger 
portion in that branch of business than any one in the city, 
and by that means, and others, was enabled to retire with a 

He has on several occasions been a delegate at large from 
this State in the Democrat conventions, was for some yeaars 
chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee, and 
considered an efficient officer, a good political tactician and 
wire-worker for the party. 

In 1863 he was elected by the Legislature president of the 
Sinking Fund, and held the office for several years. He is 
not now engaged in any particular business farther than the 
attention to his private property, which is considerable. He 
has a fine private residence at the southwest corner of Ohio 
and Meridian streets, one of the most fashionable portions of 
the city. 

Mr. Talbott was for several years one of the leading beaux 
of tho capital, and thought by some to be given over to bach- 
elorism, but by a fortunate circumstance he met with a daugh- 
ter of the late Captain Tinker, then of Cincinnati, and sur- 
rendered to her charms a '• prisoner at will." 


Shakspeare, or some other speare, once wrote something 
like this, that there " is a tide in the affairs of men which, 
if taken with the flood, leads on to fortune." Mr. Yohn must 
have have fallen into that tide, as he has floated gently on 
until he has reached the port spoken of by the distinguished 

James C. Yohn, with his mother, two sisters and a bachelor 
uncle (James Gore), came to this place from Baltimore County, 
Maryland, in November. 1834. The elder sister was soon 

Henry II. Nelson. 285 

married to a Mr. Walker, then of Danville, Illinois, after- 
wards a United States Senator from the State of Wisconsin. 
The younger sister died in this place several years since, 

Mr. Yohn, when but a mere boy, engaged as store-boy, then 
as clerk, with one of the leading merchants of this place, 
afterwards a partner, and finally engaged in the mercantile 
business on his own account, and was a successful merchant, 
and in the meantime he was married to a dauj^hter of Hiram 
Brown, a distinguished attorney of this place. 

During the war he was appointed a Paymaster in the United 
States service, with the rank of Major, This position was 
uncongenial to his feelings, and he resigned sometime before 
his services were not required. 

He owns some fine private as well as business property in 
the city. The elegant block, known by his name, on the 
corner of AVashington and Meridian streets, he built and owns. 
He is considered a good man, upright and punctual in all his 
dealings, and remarkably quiet and retiring in his habits. He 
has been a consistent member of the Methodist Church since 
his boyhood. 

His mother and uncle yet reside with him on North Dela- 
ware street. Of the five in family when they came to Indian- 
apolis, thirty-six years ago, three are yet living. 


In writing this short sketch of Mr. Nelson, I am at a loss 
what to say that every person does not know that has lived in 
this city for the last thirty years. 

Mr. Nelson, like his friend Charles C. Campbell, has hon- 
ored with his presence nearly every political convention that 
has assembled from time to time in this city for the last quar- 
ter of a century, and like him, too, has considerable experi- 
ence in legislation as a lobby member. 

286 Early Reminiscences. 

I think Mr. Campbell has served his country, as a juror, 
oftcner than has Henry ; yet his willingness to serve his fel- 
low citizens in that way has never been doubted by his many 

He was born in Washington County, East Tennessee, and 
inherits a considerable share of the Jackson Democracy so 
peculiar to those who reside in the vicinity of the old hero's 
late residence. 

He came to Indianapolis in the fall of 1833, and has con- 
tinued to reside he resince that time, having changed one to 
and added several to the name of Nelson, 

Henry is an upright, honest and jovial man, with a smile 
and pleasant word for all, a frown for none, and is universally 
respected by all who know him. 


Was generally called "Uncle Ben" by all who enjoyed the 
benefit of his acquaintance and friendship. He was from the 
"Great Crossings," Scott County, Kentucky, a locality noted 
for horse-racing as well as swapping. Uncle Ben understood 
both branches of the business to perfection, but before leav- 
ing Kentucky he had joined the Christian Church and left 
off racing ; se he came to Indianapolis a regenerated man. 

He was a smooth-talking, oily tongued man, calculated to 
win the confidence of almost any person, more especially the 
young and unsuspecting, and would generally compass his 
object upon first trial, but after that it was very difficult to 
have a second transaction with the same person. 

When he met an acquaintance he would extend both hands, 
and tell them he was just that moment thinking of them, and 
ask them if there was anything he could do for them. He 
would often remark to the writer, that it did him so much 
good to do a kindness for a friend ; " true religion," he would 
.^ay, "consists in acts of kindness to our neighbors." 

William SalUcan, Esq. 287 

Uncle Ben's store was adjoining the residence of the wri- 
ter's mother. One morning I stepped into his store quite 
early. He met me with his usual bland manner, both hands 
extended; "Johnny," said he, "I was thinking of you just 
this moment. Johnny, do you know (in a low tone of voice) 
that the horse you got of Boyer, I mean one of the blacks, 
is taking the glanders?" I answered in the negative, and was 
surprised to hear him say so. Said he, " he certainly is, 
although as yet it is hard to discover." 

"Johnny," said he, "you know old Joe Pratt treated you 
very bad in the horse trade you made with him, I wish you 
to get even with him, and I'll tell you how we'll do it; I'll 
give you that bob-tail grey of mine and fifty dollars for your 
blacks; I can put them on to old Joe, and then the laugh will 
be on him." 

Nothing more was wanting than Uncle Ben's word, and the 
trade was made ; the horses were changed from one stable 
(which were adjoining) to the other before my friends were 
aware of it, and the fifty dollars paid over to me. 

Uncle Ben kept his word and put them on to Old Joe for 
one hundred and fifty dollars, which, at that time, was a very 
high price for the finest of horses. 

The horse I got of him was not worth twenty dollars, while 
those he jrot of me were as serviceable horses as ever went to 
harness. Old Joe put them on to Nathan B. Palmer for about 
one hundred and seventy-five dollars. 

I never saw them afterwards but that I felt like praying 
for " Uncle Ben " for his disinterested kindness to me as a 
neighbor, and that he might meet the " bob-tail grey " on the 
other side of Jordan. 


Among those of the second decade in the settlement of In- 
dianapolis, and who have been rather prominent before the 

288 Early Reminiscences. 

people for the past tliirty-five years, is William Sullivan, Esq., 
a native of Maryland, who first came among us in 1834, in 
the character of a schoolmaster, and pursued the business of 
teaching for several years. 

Mr. Sullivan, having married a young lady of this city and 
made it his permanent home, accepted the office of county 
surveyor, and subsequently that of city civil engineer in 1836, 
then first created ; it was under his directions our first street 
improvements were made. 

While acting as engineer he constructed a large map for the 
use of the city, and published a smaller map for the general 
use of the citizens, a valuable but a very scarce map at the 
present day. 

Mr. S. took an active part in school matters before the in- 
troduction of the present system of graded schools, and was 
instrumental in organizins; the Franklin Institute, or High 
School, then located near the northwest corner of Market and 
Circle streets, an institution of great utility at that time, and 
successfully conducted by the Rev. Mr. Chester, now deceased, 
and afterwards by General Marston, late a member of Congress 
from the State of New Hampshire, and lastly, I believe, by 
the Hod. W. D. Griswold, now of Terre Haute, Indiana. 

Mr. Sullivan has served as councilman of his ward and as 
President of the City Council, discharging magisterial duties 
similar to those of Police Judge now exercised by the Mayor 
of Indianapolis. 

From November, 1841, to November, 1867, twenty-six years, 
he held the office of justice of the peace for Center township 
in this city, a longer time than any office has been held by any 
other person since the settlement of the place, doing a large 
amount of business, and frequently discharging the duties of 
City Judge, in the absence or inability of the Mayor. 

Meanwhile he has given of his means and devoted his spare 
time to public improvements, particularly railroads centering 

William Sullican, Esq. 289 

at Indianapolis, surveying for several years, as a Director of 
the Central Hallway, from Indianapolis to Richmond during 
the construction of that road, and subsequently as Trustee of 
the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad. 

Mr. Sullivan is of a quiet and retiring disposition, but has 
a mind and will of his own, and acts promptly and vigorously 
as occasions may require. He is a man of genial manners and 
great kindness of heart, quick to notice an intended injury, and 
as quick to forgive and forget it when due reparation is made. 

He has by close application and attention to business, econ- 
omy and temperate habits, accumulated a competency sufl&- 
cient to enable him to live at ease and without business the 
balance of his life, and leave a handsome property for each 
of his three children, but I cannot see that he has relaxed 
his energy or industry of a quarter of a century ago. 

Esquire Sullivan is a man of fine conversational powers and 
at home in any genteel society, and never fails to entertain 
those he meets with by his great fund of anecdotes and his 
cheerful spirits. 

In politics he was an original Democrat, acted with and 
gave that party a hearty support until the passage of the 
"Kansas-Nebraska Acts;" since that time he has voted with 
the Republicans, but with no very high opinion of the radical 
wing of that party. He is now chiefly engaged in attending 
to his own private business. 

Mr. Sullivan's oldest daughter is the wife of Mr. May, for- 
merly of Cecil County, Maryland, now sojourning in Helena, 
Montano Territory, and has been recently appointed Receiver 
of Public Moneys in that land district. 

His second dauo-hter is the wife of that dashino- and darincr 
cavalry officer, during the war. Col. Bob Stewart, of Terre 
Haute. His remaining child, a son quite young, is yet living 
at home with his parents. Such is Esquire Sullivan, one of 
our respected citizens of thirty-six years' standing. 

290 Early Reminiscences. 


Was among the first carpenters that settled in Indianapolis. 
He came in the year 1822, and built a shop and residence on 
the point lot between Virginia avenue and Pennsylvania street, 
fronting "Washington street. 

He has been dead several years, leaving four children, all 
of whom are now dead except Benjamin R., his second son. 

His eldest daughter, Adeline, was the wife of Thomas Don- 
nellen, a well known cabinet-maker in his day. His second 
daughter, Emeline, was never married. 

Joseph, the eldest son, has now been dead about twelve 

Benjamin R. McCord is largely engaged in the lumber, 
planing, sash, blind and door business in connection with Mr. 
Wheatley, under the firm of McCord & Wheatley, and they 
are now doing as large, if not a larger, business in their line 
than any similar establishment in the city. 

Since the above was written that large establishment refer- 
red to burned entirely down on the 28th of May, 1870, and 
was rebuilt and in running order in two weeks. Such is the 
enterprise of B. R. McCord and his partner, Wm. M. Wheat- 


Was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in the year 1791, 
and there studied his profession and practiced some time in 
Millersburg ; he then removed to New Castle, Henry County, 
and there remained until his removal to Indianapolis, in the 
winter of 1829-30. 

In the spring of 1830, at the sale of the donation lands, he, 
in connection with Nicholas McCarty, purchased that portion 
of the city now lying between Virginia avenue, South street 
and Fletcher avenue. 

He built the house on Virginia avenue, and there resided 

Dr. John H. Sanders. 291 

several years, known as the Fletcher homestead ; his portion 
of this property he sold to Mr. Fletcher for fifty dollars per 
acre, three and one-half acres, which was recently sold by one 
of Mr. Fletcher's heirs to the Asbury Methodist Congregation, 
for thirty thousand dollars. 

Dr. Sanders then purchased the three lots on the northwest 
corner of Market and Illinois streets, and built the house 
which he afterwards sold to the State for a residence for the 
Governor, for ten thousand dollars. 

In 1839 he, with his family, removed to the Ozark Moun- 
tains, Missouri, but returned to this place in the early part of 

He then built a residence on South Meridian street, where 
he resided at the time of his death, and where his family re- 
mained for several years afterwards. 

In the spring of 1850 he visited a daughter, Mrs. McCrea, 
then living in New Orleans, and while returning home was 
attacked with cholera and died on board a steamer on the Mis- 
sissippi River on the 4th of April. 

Dr. Sanders was a kind-hearted and hospitable man, and 
ardently devoted to his family and friends. He was a mem- 
ber of the Christian Church, and an exemplary man in all the 
relations of life ; as a physician he stood high in this com- 

Since his death his widow and second daughter have died. 
The most of his family yet reside in the city. 

The eldest daughter was the wife of ex-Governor David 
Wallace ; another the wife of llobert B. Duncan, one of 
the oldest citizens of the place, but by no means the oldest 
man : another the wife of David S. Beaty ; the youngest, the 
wife of Mr. Gatling, resides in Philadelphia. 

Dr. Sanders is another of the old and prominent citizens of 
this city that died before they had witnessed the great pros- 
perity it now enjoys. 

292 Early Reminiscences. 


Was bora in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the year 1816. When in 
his eighteenth year he came to Indianapolis and engaged as a 
clerk in the dry goods store of Joseph M. Moore & Co., known 
as the store of the Steam Mill Company, of which Messrs. 
James M. Ray, James Blake and Nicholas McCarty were the 
principal owners. 

He was married in 1838 to Miss Mary Jane, eldest daugh- 
ter of Harvey Bates, Esq. He then, with his father-in-law 
as a partner, engaged in merchandising, and afterwards with 
other partners, and was a successful merchant. 

He was conductor on the Madison and Indianapolis Rail- 
road, and as such brought the first train that ever ran into 
Indianapolis, in October, 1847. 

When the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad was being 
built he took the contract for and finished several miles of it. 

Mr. Vance was one of the seventeen that left the Old School 
Presbyterian Church and joined the Second Presbyterian 
Church when it was first founded by Henry Ward Beecher. 

He was well known for his generous and obliging disposi- 
tion, his strict observance of every rule of morality and reli- 
gion, and his kindness to those that either business or circum- 
stances brought him in contact with. 

During the war he was a devoted Union man, using his in- 
fluence and means, without stint, for its successful prosecu- 

One of his sons, after serving in a subordinate capacity for 
two or three years, was selected as Colonel of one of the city 
regiments in the hundred days' service, which position he 
filled to the honor of himself and benefit of the service. 

Lawrence M. Vance was one of the enterprising and busi- 
ness men of Indianapolis, and as such enjoyed the confidence 
of its citizens. He died suddenly in April, 1863, leaving a 
wife and several children in good circumstances, if not wealthy. 

Governor Band Wallace. 293 

Mrs. Vance owns that splendid business property on the 
corner of Virginia avenue and Washington street, fronting 
both on Washington street and the avenue ; also the beautiful 
homestead on East Washington street, and although deprived 
by death of her partner in life's journey, seems to make the 
best of it, and enjoy, as best she can, the balance of her pil- 
grimage on earth. 


Was a native of Pennsylvania, having been born in Mifflin 
County on the 24th of April, 1799. When quite young, with 
his father's family, emigrated to Ohio, and from that State, 
through the friendship and intercession of General William 
H. Harrison, received the appointment of cadet, and was edu- 
cated at West Point. 

He afterwards became a citizen of Indiana, and for several 
years practiced law at Brookville, and represented Franklin 
County in the State Legislature. 

In the year 1834 he was the candidate for, and was elected, 
Lieutenant Governor on the ticket with Governor Noah Noble. 

In 1837 he was the Internal Improvement candidate for 
Governor against the Hon. John Dumont, the anti-improve- 
ment candidate, and was successful. 

It was during this canvass that he said that an extra hen 
and chickens would be sufficient to pay all the extra taxation 
that would be levied against the farmers for internal improve- 
ment purposes. After the scheme proved a failure, he was 
often twitted by his friends for this expression of false pro- 

In 1841 he was elected to Congress at the special election 
ordered by the Governor for members of Congress for the 
extra session called together by President Harrison. 

Governor Wallace's first wife was the daughter of tho Hon. 
John Test, an eminent and early Indiana lawyer, and sister 

294 Early Reminiscences. 

of Judge Charles H. Test, now of Lafayette. By her he 
has three children yet living. The eldest, William Wallace, 
is one of our most respected citizens, and a fair lawyer. The 
second son. General Lew Wallace, now of Crawfordsville, 
whose history is well known, not only in Indiana but through- 
out the nation. The third son, Edward, I think, also lives in 

His second wife is the daughter of Dr. John H. Sanders, 
late of this city, and one of its prominet physicians. By her 
he also has three children, a daughter, the wife of Wm. W. 
Leathers, a lawyer of this city, another daughter yet single, 
and a son about eighteen years of age. 

Governor Wallace was a fine lawyer and one of the most 
eloquent public speakers of his day, a warm and generous- 
hearted man, a stranger to anything like duplicity or deceit, 
and enjoyed the respect and esteem of all who knew him. 

He died in September, 1859, in the sixty-first year of 
his age. 


Mr. Patterson was born in Sumner County, Tennessee, on 
the 9th of March, 1806. When quite young he came to In- 
diana a manufacturer of the cases and vender of those old- 
fashioned clocks, commonly called "wall sweepers," from the 
fact that they reached from the floor to the ceiling of an or- 
dinary room. 

He first located near Paoli, Orange County, thence to the 
vicinity of Indianapolis in 1829, and made his headquarters 
at the house of the widow Smock, two miles south of town 
on the Madison State road ; from the latter place his peddler's 
were traveling in all direction? selling his clocks at from thirty 
to fifty dollars, taking notes for the same at twelve months 
time. He finally purchased the clocks of Seth Thomas' man- 
ufacture and sold throughout the country for a year or so, or 

Samuel H. Patterson. 295 

until he was married, which took place on the 19th of Feb- 
ruary, 1832. 

In the spring of the year 1833, he, in connection with Jas. 
Beard (one of his former peddlers), commenced in this city 
the wholesale grocery and liquor busineess, the first whole- 
sale establishment of any kind in Indianapolis ; this they con- 
tinued but a short time, as the town and country would not 
support such an establishment. 

In May, 1836, in connection with Benjamin Hensley, o^ 
Frankfort, Kentucky, leased the Indiana State Prison, at 
about three thousand dollars per year ; this did not prove 
very lucrative, as there were only about sixty convicts in it 
at that time. 

In June, 1841, he was superseded as lessee of the prison 
by Joseph R. Pratt and John McDougall ; the intervening 
time between 1841 and 1846 he spent in farming and trading. 

The session of the Legislature of 1845-46 was Democratic 
by a small majority. Pratt, then the lessee, and Simon Bott- 
rorff, of Jeffersonville, another Democrat, procured the pas- 
sage of a bill through the Legislature leasing the State Prison 
at eight thousand dollars per year for a term of ten years, 
having the bill framed to suit themselves, the lessee to be 
elected by the present (then) Legislature, not dreaming of, or 
fearing, opposition in the election. 

Mr. Patterson had spent the winter in Indianapolis, seeju- 
ingly taking but little interest in what was going on, occa- 
sionally entertaining his friends with a champaign party or an 
oyster supper. The election for lessee came olF a few even- 
ings before the final adjournment of the Legislature. Pratt 
and his partner were sanguiqe of success, as there was not 
known to be any opposition to them. When the balloting 
commenced, to the surprise of Pratt the Whigs were voting 
for Patterson. He yet did not apprehend any danger of the 
final result, until the roll-call reached the name of Daviil 

29(3 Early Reminiscences. 

Herriman, of Noble County (a leading Democrat), who cried 
out "Samuel H. Patterson." Pratt afterwards said, he "saw 
in a moment that he had been out-flanked by the adroit wire- 
worker, for he had never dreamed before the balloting com- 
menced that he was a candidate." As this incident will prove, 
he never lets his plans be known until they are well matured, 
and often nearly accomplished. 

After his second lease of the prison expired, in 1856, he 
was the principal stockholder in a line of steamers between 
Cairo and New Orleans. This was one of the finest as well 
as largest line of boats ever established on the Mississippi 
River, a steamer leaving each port daily. 

During the fifteen years he was lessee of the State Prison 
he purchased twelve or fifteen hundred acres of land, lying 
between Jeflfersonville and New Albany, principally for the 
wood, which he used in burning brick. This land he yet 
holds, and I understand has been ofi"ered one thousand dollars 
per acre for some of it that lies near the northern terminus 
of the bridge over the Ohio River. 

He is now considered one of the wealthy men of the State. 
Although in his sixty-fifth year, he is as energetic and indus- 
trious and as willing to turn an honest penny as when we first 
knew him forty years ago, when the price of a " wall sweeper " 
was fifty dollars. His house has been the hotel of his friends 
and acquaintance from all parts of the Union since his resi- 
dence in Jeffersonville, now thirty-four years. 

He was a member of the old " National Whig " party 
from its first organization in 1832 until it was disbanded in 
1852 ; although a Southerner by birth, and the owner of slaves, 
he was, during the war, a warm Union man, but with no very 
high opinion of the party in power at the present time. 

Mrs. Patterson is the only surviving member (save the wri- 
ter) of her father's family of nine that came to Indianapolis 
fifty years ago. 

William N. Jackson. 297 


Billy Jackson came to Indianapolis, in the year 1833, quite 
a young man, and has remained such, in many respects, ever 

He was the first iron merchant of this city, or tlie first that 
dealt in that article exclusively. His store was the second 
door west from the northwest corner of Washington and Me- 
ridian streets. The place at that time would not support an 
establishment of that kind, hence he continued the business 
but a short time. 

There are few persons throughout the State better known 
to the public than is Mr. Jackson, nor has any enjoyed the 
confidence of the citizence of Indianapolis to a greater extent 
during the thirty-seven years he has called it his home. 

He has been identified with the railroads that center in In- 
dianapolis from the start ; indeed, he was engaged in the ofiice 
of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad sometime before it 
reached this place, and when the business of the road was 
transacted at Madison. 

He is now, and has been for several years, the General 
Ticket Agent at the Union Depot, where his genial counte- 
nance is very nearly always seen on the arrival or departure 
of the trains on the various routes that there center. 

He is ever ready to assist any unprotected female, whether 
acquaintance or stranger, on and off the cars, and is assiduous 
in all the duties that pertain to his position. 

Mr. Jackson is a member of the Second Presbyterian Church 
(generally known by the old settlers as Beecher's) ; has been 
one of the elders for several years, and exercises a consider- 
able influence in the government and management of its af- 
fairs. He is a very benevolent and charitable man, and I un- 
derstand from one of his associates and particular friends that 
the larger part of his salary for several years has been devo- 
ted to such purposes. In the meantime he has defrayed tlie 

298 Early Reminiscences. 

expense in the education of several young ladies whose par- 
ents' circumstances precluded the possibility of their doing 
it. He has also educated some young men, who are now en- 
gaged in the ministry. 

As intimated in the beginning of this sketch, Mr. Jackson 
is yet without the pale of matrimony, but is as much of a gal- 
lant as was his wont to be thirty years ago, and it is consid- 
ered a compliment to any lady, young or old, to receive his 
attention ; he seems to be blessed with perpetual youth. 


There lives within twenty miles of the capital of Indiana, 
a worthy farmer that counts his 7-30s. and 5-20s., United 
States Bonds, by thousands, his broad acres by hundreds, his 
fat bullocks, that graze upon his green pastures, by scores, 
his barns and graineries well filled with the products of his 
several farms. 

He came to the valley of White River a boy near half a 
century ago, since which time we have enjoyed his acquaint- 
ance and friendship. George is a plain, ofi'-hand, common- 
sense man, a stranger to the tom-fooleries and fashions of the 
present day. By industry and economy he was enabled to 
purchase from the Government eighty acres of land, for which 
he paid one hundred dollars ; on this land he built himself a 
cabin, and in due time invited the daughter of one of his 
neighbors, a "well-to-do farmer," to be his partner in life's 
rugged journey, and share his pleasures as well as toils, which 
she accepted, and there grew up around them several daugh- 
ters that were fair to look upon, and at the time of which I 
am writing were just blooming into womanhood. 

George was successful, and when his neighbor, who owned 
an adjoining farm, wished to sell and emigrate farther West, 
George was the man that had the means and was willing to 
buy him out, which he did. 

George Paul. 299 

On this farm, in addition to the original cabin, was a one- 
story frame house of small dimensions. 

After this purchase his daughters, who had been from home 
at school, and had learned something of city life, and the 
fashions of the day had rapidly gained upon their youthful 
minds, induced their father to give up their old homestead 
and cabin where they were born, and around which were en- 
twined in their hearts many pleasing recollections and remi- 
niscences of their childish days. 

After he was fairly ensconced in his new domicil, he one 
day returned from the field, where he had been plowing, with 
the fresh earth which he had been turning up sticking to his 
shoes in a considerable quantity. One of the daughters met 
him at the front door : " Pap," said she, " will you please come 
in at the back door?" " Why, what is all this?" said George. 
" This is the parlor," replied the daughter. "Parlor, what is 
that, daughter?" "A parlor," said she, "is a room where 
young ladies see their beaux when they come ' sparking,' as 
you call it." 

A few days after this occurrence the worthy farmer visited 
his old friend and neighbor. After some common-place con- 
versation, said he, " Cyrus what on earth is the world coming 
to ; the other day I had been plowing, and when I went to 
the house one of the gals met me at the door and asked if I 
would please walk around to the back door. They had run a 
table out onto the floor and put a kiver on it, then they laid 
the Bible and hime-book, and some other books crossways ; 
the dagetypes they spread open on the mantel piece, where 
were also dishes filled with roses and other flowers. On the 
walls of the room they had hung up the picters of our Savior 
on the Cross and the Virgin Mary ; the fire-place they had 
filled with sparry-grass bushes ; on one side of the fire-place 
they had placed a bowl they said was to spit in, and when this 
was all done they called it a parlor. I don't think much of 

300 Early Reminiscences. 

parlors any how, but if they want a parlor without a bed and 
chest of drawers in it, why, let them have it. How times 
have changed since we were young. When the parlor was all 
fixed the old woman wanted another ' eend put on the house 
for a kitchen,' to gratify the gals." 

The sequel has proved that the improvements suggested by 
the young ladies were a success, for truly it is a nice, comfort- 
able-looking place, with many vines creeping over the house 
and its surrounding lattice work, its walk leading from the 
outer gate to the parlor door, with the beds of choice flowers 
on either side. Such is the homestead of George Paul of 
Morgan County. 

Another farmer, that resides in the same neighborhood, had 
a son that had just arrived at that interesting period of life 
called manhood. This young man was named Jesse. He had 
up to this time seen but little outside the precincts of his 
father's barn yard. The old gentleman was anxious that 
his son should see some of the great improvements that were 
going on in the busy world around him, and in order that he 
might see the world, he proposed to Jesse to make a trip to 
" Sinsinuatty," in the stage coach. 

This proposition met with a cheerful welcome from the obe- 
dient son, who was immediately provided with the necessary 
means to defray the traveling expenses, and set out for " Sin- 
sinnatty," in the four-horse mail coach. 

The first night from home he stopped at the principal hotel 
in Greensburg, Decatur Coxinty. At the supper table the 
polite and attentive landlord, after helping Jesse to a piece 
of the fine, juicy beefsteak, asked him if he would be helped 
to some of the gravy. " Yes," said Jess. " I love sop." 

Next morning, when the coaches drove up in front of the 
hotel to receive their passengers, Jesse inquired for and took 
the one for Indianapolis. When he arrived at home the in- 
dulgent father wished to know how far he went, and why he 

Jacob Cox. 301 

returned so soon. He said he had gone to Greensburg, De- 
catur County, and that the tavern-keeper called sop gravy, 
and he thought that he was far enough from home, for he did 
not know what they would call it by the time he reached 

So Jesse was well satisfied with his traveling tour to learn 
the ways of the world, and content to take his sop under the 
paternal roof. 


I have known this gentleman (more as a citizen and friend 
than as an artist) since he first set foot in this city, in the 
year 1833, The three brothers, Charles, Jacob and David, 
were engaged for several years as tinners, the two former as 
proprietors, the latter as a journeyman. 

Mr. Cox had been married but a short time when, with his 
estimable lady, he selected Indianapolis as his permanent 
home, and has here continued to reside since the year above 
named. He has materially changed his business in this time, 
and is now esteemed as one of the most accomplished artists 
of the day. For his career in this profession I would refer 
the reader to an extract which I clip from the "Art Empo- 
rium," published by H. Lieber, of this city. I well remem- 
ber the Banner, spoken of in that article, which was carried 
at the head of the Indianapolis Delegation, known as the 
"Wild Oats of Indianapolis," that attended the convention 
at the Tippecanoe Battle Ground in the year 1840. 

The design was "That same old coon," surrounded by her 
family of some four or five little coons. After the canvass of 
that year this banner was presented to the mother of the wri- 
ter, and is now in the possession of Mrs. Samuel H. Tatter- 
son, of Jefi"ersonville. Although I make no professions as a 
connoisseur in the fine arts, I will say Mr. Cox's talent in that 
line cannot be too highly appreciated. 

302 Early Reminiscences. 

I would not be doing tlie business I am engaged in, i. e., 
that of giving sketches of character, were I to omit speaking 
of Mr. Cox's worthy lady as an antiquarian, and is no less an 
artist in that line than is her husband with his brush and 
paints in his. 

She has the most complete assortment of specimens of an- 
tiquity, and minerals, and very nearly everything that is odd 
and rare from all parts of the world, either civilized or unciv- 
ilized, "from Greenland's icy mountains to India's coral 
strand," and she takes great pleasure in showing them to her 
numerous friends when they may choose to call upon her. 

The " Art Emporium," speaking of Mr. Cox, says : " His 
history aflfords an excellent illustration of the futility of at 
tempting to swerve a person from a strong natural taste or 
inclination. Born in Philadelphia in 1810, Jacob Cox mani- 
fested his taste for art when only thirteen years of years, and 
wished to study for an artist, but his friends, or family, thought 
they knew best what was a fit and profitable calling, and he 
became a tinner. In 1833 he came to Indianapolis and en- 
gaged in the business of a tin and coppersmith, and for the 
next seven years made no advances toward the adoption of 
the profession of his choice. In 1840 the Harrison campaign 
called into play his artistic talent, by the demand for trans- 
parency and banner painting. While others daubed through 
political excitement, he worked from love of his work, and 
painted the banner which was carried at the head of the pro- 
cession to the Tippecanoe Battle Ground celebration. 

" For the next two years he worked assiduously at his new- 
found and most congenial profession, when, in the autumn of 
1842, he went to Cincinnati and opened a studio with John 
Dunn, a young man with artistic longings. Cox was fortu- 
nate in getting into a good run of business in Cincinnati, paint- 
ing the portraits of Miles Greenwood and several other prom- 
inent gentlemen, and remained about five months. Associating 

John L. Ketcham. 303 

with the prominent artists of the city he made great improve- 
ment in his art, and when he returned he painted portraits of 
Hon. Oliver H. Smith, Gover Bigger and Ex-Governor Wal- 
lace. Still he did not find painting suflficiently remunerative 
to justify his retiring from the prosaic business of tinning, 
and he continued an active partner with his brother, in that 
business, until about twelve years ago, when he withdrew his 
personal attention entirely from business, and, about five years 
later, sold out his interest exclusively. No artist was ever 
more devoted to his profession than he is, and his works bear 
evidence of his genius and industry. Among all who appre- 
ciate true artistic merit, Mr. Cox has a lasting reputation, and 
many of his pictures have found purchasers in distant cities." 


In the short space I design in this work of sketching the 
characters of the old citizens of Indianapolis, I do not think 
I could add one word to, nor would I willingly take one from, 
the eulogy upon the character of Mr. Ketcham, which I find 
as his obituary notice in the " Evening Mirror," of this city, 
dated April 21st, 1869. 

With Mr. Ketcham I was well acquainted for the entire 
thirty-six years that he was a resident of this city. I have 
transacted business with him as a lawyer, as a magistrate, and 
also as a private citizen, and will add my testimony to his 
worth in each capacity, and also to his many other noble qual- 
ities and christian virtues. 

The cause of his sudden and unexpected death that gave 
such a shock to, and cast such a gloom over the entire city, 
was by falling through a hatchway in the store of Alford, 
Talbott & Co., in the Opera House building. 

He had stepped into the store but a moment before the sad 
accident happened, to speak with one of the proprietors, and 
by a backward step he lost his balance and was precipitated 

304 Early Reminiscences. 

twelve feet into the cellar, and died of the injuries he received, 
the next morning. 

I therefore cheerfully adopt the following, which I clip 
from the " Mirror :" 

" The announcement this morning that the injuries received 
by Hon. John L. Ketcham, in the fall at the store of Alford, 
Talbott & Co., yesterday afternoon, had proven fatal, has 
thrown a saddening gloom over the city. So sudden has been 
the removal from the activity of life to the stillness of death, 
that it seems hard to fully realize the painful truth. From 
the full vigor of a life, unusually earnest and active, he has 
been taken by one of those terrible decrees of accident that 
are ever reminding man that his existence is brief, and uncer- 
tain in its termination. 

"John L. Ketcham was born April 3, 1810, in Shelby County, 
Kentucky. His father. Colonel John Ketcham, removed to 
Indiana when he was an infant, but on account of Indian 
troubles was compelled to return to Kentucky. A few years 
later he again came to Indiana, and settled in Monroe County, 
near Bloomington. Colonel Ketcham was a man of strong 
character, with marked energy and resolute purpose. An 
early advocate of the Free Soil movement, he continued in 
that party through all its obloquy and feebleness. His wife 
was a woman equally marked. She had a quick perception 
into the right, and was ever ready to sacrifice to it. Her con- 
trolling spring seemed to be duty, and she never let pleasure 
lead her from it. 

" From such parentage John L. Ketcham came, and well 
represented in his life the familiar characteristics of each, 
more especially being a counterpart of his mother. Colonel 
Ketcham died two years since. His wife still survives. Mr. 
Ketcham was educated at the University at Bloomington, 
under Dr. Wiley, to whom he was much attached. He was 
graduated in the regular course when quite young. In 1833 

John fj. Kdcham, 305 

he came to Indianapolis and began the study of law under 
Judge Blackford. Soon after admission to the bar he was 
elected Justice of the Peace, and held the office one term. 
This was the only office he was ever a candidate for, his sub- 
sequent life being strictly devoted to his profession. In 1836 
he married Jane, eldest daughter of Samuel Merrill, Esq. He 
leaves his wife and a family of eight. 

" In his profession he was associated in partnership from 
time to time with Napoleon B. Taylor, Lucian Barbour, D. 
W. Coffin and James L. Mitchell, his present partner. 

"Such in brief is the history of one who yesterday, in the 
fullest vigor, was with us. There is, perhaps, no man in the 
city whose leading traits of character are more marked. For 
thirty-six years he was a citizen of Indianapolis, for the last 
twenty of which he has lived in the home he has been so sadly 
called from. It is a delicate thing to try to portray a char- 
acter so well known. It lives so in the memory of all that it 
is a part of the history of the place. But we can but say 
briefly a little of that that comes quickest to the hearts that 
are so suddenly called to grieve over a loss so irreparable. 

"The hospitality of Mr. Ketcham is well known. It was 
a part of the duty of life that he never forgot, but made it 
most pleasant to all who entered his family circle. The no- 
bleness of the man, indeed, was quickest seen in his home. 
An exceeding tenderness marked his whole intercourse with 
his family and family friends. Regularity of life was a part 
of his faith. An untiring worker, he never allowed one duty 
to overshadow another. His idea of life was to fulfill every 
duty as it came. The boundaries of duty were never crossed. 
All his life a Christian, he let his Christianity follow him 
wherever he went. It is said by those nearest him, that in all 
his long residence in the city, he never missed a religious 
meeting of the church to which he belonged, if in the oity, 
or not unwell. A ready speaker at all times, he seemed 

806 Early Reminiscences. 

especially gifted in the prayer meeting, always having some- 
thing to add which was of value. The main-spring of his 
life was Christian duty. The influence he silently exerted in 
the regular observance of his daily devotions is past all 
expression. Those living near him have often spoken with 
the deepest feeling of the laborers, when passing his house in 
the morning, stopping to catch the hymns of praise that were 
the ushering in of the day to him and his family. 

"Strong in his friendship, he never forgot a friend or failed 
him when needed. During the war his sympathetic patriotism 
was most marked. Two of his sons were in the army, and 
every battle was watched and prayed over as if they were 
there. A man of unostentatious benevolence, he literally did 
not let his right hand know what his left did. Many 
instances of his substantial kindness are now known, that 
before were buried in the hearts of giver and receiver. 

"Mr. Ketcham was one of thirteen who left the Old School 
Church on the division, and founded the Second Presbyterian 
Church. Mr. Beecher, the first pastor of that church, was 
accustomed to rely upon him as confidently as he could upon 
himself. When the Second Church became too full for use- 
fulness, Mr. Ketcham was one of the handful of brave men 
who founded the Fourth Church. He gave of his time and 
means without stint to bring that church to its present stand- 
ing. An elder in the Second Church, he was soon made an 
elder in the Fourth, in which position he worked faithfully 
to the last. 

"John L. Ketcham died with his armor on. Working nobly 
for God and man, he was ready at the call. No preparation 
time was wanted. He stepped from life here to the Life 
beyond. Vain are our words to say to his family that he has 
done his work. Vainly can we tender sympathy — vainly 
speak to the crushed hearts. It is the work of the God he 

Samuel Beck. 307 

gave his life-service to, and humbly we look to him for com- 
fort for them. 

" ' Enoch walked with God and was not, for God took him.' " 


Ib one of the staid and substantial citizens of Indianapolis, 
and one that deserves to be, and is, respected by all who know 
him for his plain, unassuming manner, his strict integrity and 
upright walk in life. 

He is a strict and consistent member of the Methodist 
Church and a Christian in the true sense of the word, being 
governed in his intercourse with his neighbors and fellow-men 
as near as he can by the Golden Rule. 

I heard an incident of him the other day that illustrates his 
true character. A friend of his whose only fault had been 
that of drinking to excess, through the influence of Mr. Beck 
was induced to join the church, and for nearly a year had been 
an attentive member, and had lived up to its rules; but in an 
evil hour was induced to drink, and fell from grace in that 
respect. Mr. Beck, hearing of it, instead of informing the 
controlling powers of the church, sought out his friend and 
by his persuasive powers induced him to resume his duties to 
the church as though nothing had happened. Are not such 
acts more Christian like than to have him exposed and turned 
out of the church, and, perhaps, seal his fate fori ife? Such, 
however, is the writer's view. 

Mr. Beck has worked at the gunsmith business very near, 
if not quite, the entire thirty-seven years he has been a 
citizen of this city, and is yet as industrious and assiduous to 
his duties as when we first knew him, and at this writing has 
been longer in the same business than any other person in 
the city. 

Mr. Beck is a native of Pennsylvania, but at an early day 
came to Connersville, Fayette County, and there resided 

308 Early Reminiscences. 

until his removal this place in the year 1833. Although he 
has passed the meridian of life he bids fair to live many 
years, which, if he does, no doubt, as the past have been, 
will be devoted to doing good, and usefulness to the cause of 


Has by pre-emption right become one of the fixed institutions 
of Indianapolis, and like the worthy gunsmith, whose sketch 
precedes this, has been longer in his present business than 
any other person in the city, and next to Mr. Beck has been 
lonoer in the same business than any other in Indianapolis, 
and is the veteran boot and shoe maker and dealer. 

He came to Indianapolis from Philadelphia in May, 1835, 
and has done business on the same square, and very nearly 
on the same ground he is now, for the whole thirty-five years 
of his residence here. 

In the thirty-five years the writer has been acquainted 
with him he has never heard a harsh or unkind word spoken 
of Adam Knodle. He is a plain, unobtursive man, and one 
that thinks he has quite enough to do to mind his own busi- 
ness and let others, or their attorneys, take care of theirs. 

He is not an avaricious man by any means, and has been 
content quietly to pick up the crumbs that have fallen in his 
path from time to time and has had the good sense and 
faculty to take care of them. 

I remember seeing him at the southwest window of the 
Court House in November, 1836, depositing one of the unter- 
rified Democratic tickets for Martin Van Buren, and he still 
adheres with strict tenacity to the same faith, although he 
never tries to force his opinions upon others. 

Mr. Knodle's son George is now engaged in business with 
him as a partner, and seems to be in temperament and habits a 
second edition of the father. 

William Wil/dson. 309 


More generally known as "Billy" Wilkison, was born in 
New Castle, Delaware, but when a child went to Pennsylvania 
and there resided until he came to this place in 1836. 

He was among the first to rein four horses, attached to a 
twelve-passenger mail coach, through the streets of Indian- 
apolis, as he did through the summer season when the roads 
were good. In winter, when the roads were bad, he was 
equally expert with the same number hitched to the fore 
wheels of a "mud wagon," on which was placed a queens- 
ware crate in which the mail and one passenger were stowed. 
In this way he plowed through the mud between Richmond 
and this place at the rate of two miles an hour. 

Mr. Wilkison's success is a fair illustration of what perse- 
verance, industry and economy will accomplish. He is now 
possessed of fine city property, as well as a farm adjoining 
the city, and is able to live comfortably on his income without 
physical labor. 

During the time he was employed as above stated, he made 
the acquaintance of the daughter of 'Squire Foley, of Han- 
cock County, and she now rejoices in the name of Mrs. 
Wilkison. "Go thou and do likewise." 


About the year 1832 a merchant employed a young man to 
clerk in his store. This young man had never been engaged 
in business of this kind and was inexperienced in the prices 
and worth of the different articles. 

At this time all kinds of merchandize were kept in the same 
store, from a grubbing hoe to a fine silk shawl, and also all 
kinds of groceries and produce. In this store was kept a very 
fine article of No 1 mackerel; they retailed for eighteen and 
three-fourth cents each, or three for a half dollar. 

John Givin sent his son to the store with thirty-one niul a 

310 Early Reminiscences. 

fourth cents, and told him to tell Brown to send him the 
worth of it in mackerel, supposing that he would send him a 
large and a small one. His son returned with a half dozen 
of the finest quality. Mr. Given thought that as Brown was 
a new hand in the store, he would go over and correct the 
mistake himself. When he went in, said he: "Brown, you 
made a great mistake in the number of those mackerel you 
sent me." "Yes," said Brown, "I thought after your son 
had left that I should have sent a dozen." From this circum- 
stance he was ever called "Mackerel" Brown while he lived 
in Indianapolis. 

At the time the regiment of mounted volunteers, known, 
and spoken of on another page, as the "Bloody Three Hun- 
dred," was being raised, Brown appeqtred very war-like, and 
was very sorry that his engagements were such that precluded 
the possibility of his joining the expedition. Some doubted 
his courage and concluded to test it. 

Nathaniel Cox and Matthias Nowland went about dark 
into the woods, near where the Madison and Jefiersonville 
Depot is now located, and there built several small fires. 
Robert McPherson was to invite Brown to take a walk in 
that direction. 

When within about fifty yards of the fires McPherson 
called Brown's attention to them and expressed the opinion 
that they were the camp-fires of hostile Indians. At the 
preconcerted time Nat Cox gave a war whoop (which he 
could equal to an Indian), and fired his pistol or gun. 
Brown in an instant turned and fled, and did not stop until 
he reached the residence of Governor Noble, and informed 
him that the town was surrounded by eight or ten thousand 
hostile Indians, and that Bob McPherson had been shot 
down by his side. The Governor at once told him that it 
must be a mistake, that there were no Indians nearer than the 
Upper Wabash, and they were known to be friendly. But 

Daniel M. Nooe. 311 

Brown was sure and positive, and wanted the Governor to 
come to town and call out the people. Upon the Governor's 
refusal to do so, Brown said he did not feel safe to return 
alone and stayed all nif^ht at the Governor's residence. 

This and the mackerel story were both more than Brown 
could stand, and he soon left for other parts less exposed to 
the depredations of hostile Indians, and where mackerel were 
Fold cheaper by the dozen. 


l^ike the writer, came to Indianapolis a boy and before his 
young idea was taught to shoot, and when it was nothing 
more than an unsightly village of log cabins, and had been an 
eye-witness to its great and unparalleled prosperity; when I 
say unparalleled, I mean for a village that has sprung up in 
the midst of an unbroken and densely timbered forest, and 
far-removed from any thing like a stream that could be 
called navigable for commercial purposes. 

He partially learned the blacksmith trade with his father, 
who was among the first to work at that business in this place, 
After the proprietors of the many lines of stages that cen- 
tered in this place (James Johnson & Co.) commenced the 
manufacture of coaches, on the southeast corner of Market 
and Pennsylvania streets, and where the Post Office and 
United States Court Buildings now stand, he went to work 
for them as a coachsmith and continued with them and their 
successors several years, and was a good workman and efficient 
in his business. 

When the California mania broke out in 1849, he was 
induced by his particular friend, that distinguished Lafayette 
lawyer, the late R. A. Lockwood, to join him and go to that 
distant El Dorado, as many others did, to seek their fortune. 

In this he was not successful, and returned to friends and 

312 Early Reminiscences. 

kindred as he bad left them, and among them to seek what 
he had failed to find in the golden reoion. 

He is yet one of our well known citizens and possesses 
many good qualities, and never suffers the beggar to go hun- 
gry or empty banded from bis door, and no man in Indian- 
apolis would do more to relieve distress or want quicker or 
more cheerfully than Dan Nooe. 


This good-natured Welchman has been a citizen of this 
county and city near thirty-four years. He was born and 
raised in Denbieshire, North Wales, left his native country 
and landed in New York in the spring of 1836. He immedi- 
ately came to this county and purchased a farm about four 
miles southwest of the city, and was for ten years a successful 

He then sold his farm and eno-ao-ed in active business in 
town and continued it for ten years more ; then again wishing 
to engage in farming purchased what was then known as the 
Crowder farm, now known as the Grarner farm, on the west 
bank of White River, and where the Crawfordsville and 
Lafayette State roads cross that stream. 

During his long residence and with his extensive acquaint- 
ance in this county, he has moved along in a very harmonious 
way with his neighbors and others and has the reputation of 
being governed by the Golden Rule. Although a quiet 
good-natured and unobtrusive man, it would not do for any 
person to try to impose upon his good nature ; they might 
find too late that they were mistaken in the man. 

He has raised a family of several children ; he has four 
sons, the eldest, H. S. Garner, is a practical printer, and a 
member of the Typographical Union of this city, and holds 
one of the most responsible positions in it, that of Financial 
Secretary; the second son, Watkin, I think resides in Iowa, a 

Eev. James B. Briiton. 813 

third son is connected with the Clock and Minor Kuiporium 
of Daumont and Company, of this city, the fourth, Charles, 
is a practicing physician. 

From what we have learned of these young men, from those 
who best know them, Charley may well be, and is, proud of 
four such sons 

" Some men may pause, and say. when some admire, 
They are his sons and worthy of their sire." 


The first rector of Christ Church and first Episcopal minister 
stationed in this city, is now known throughout the land as 
an eminent and distinguished divine, and one of the purest 
and best men belonging to that most respectable church 

The writer may have some partiality for Mr. B. on account 
of his having performed for him in that church (the first of 
the kind in any church of the city), a certain little ceremony 
that is considered to seal the destiny of at least two persons 
for weal or woe through life. I must here acknowledge our 
joint obligation to the reverend gentleman for having per- 
formed his part in so beautiful and masterly style. 

Mr. B. was born in Philadelphia, Pa., on 26th day of 
August, 1810. At quite an early age was sent to Columbian 
College, Washington City, then under the presidency of Dr. 
Stoughton, a distinguished Baptist minister. He became a 
member of the Episcopal church in Louisville, Kentucky, 
then under the ministry of Rev. D. C. Page. Mr. B.'s first 
charge was in Louisville, after having been prepared for the 
ministry at Lexington, Kentucky, and ordained by Bishop 
Smith in 1836. 

He came to Indianapolis on the 4th day of July, 1837. as 

a missionary and worshiped in the Court House, then in the 

old Presbyterian church. Mrs. McOuat was one of the first 

members of the communion, which only numbered five in all. 


314 Early Beminisccnccs. 

The late Judge James Morrison, Joseph M. Moore and the 
present esteemed citizen, William H. Morrison, were members 
of the Presbyterian church, but soon left and joined Mr. B.'s. 
Here was the nucleus out of which grew the four Episcopal 
congregations of Indianapolis. 

Mr. Britton was at, and assisted in, the consecration of 
Christ Church, the first Episcopal Church in the place, and 
made its first rector. In the establishment of this church I 
am told Dr. George W. Mears and Arthur St. Clair were 
prominent, and Dr. Livingston Dunlap, Charles W. Cady and 
William Hannaman were warm friends. 

It may be proper here to add that no church in Indian- 
apolis, in that day, was more prosperous and successful or 
increased in numbers faster than did the Episcopal under Mr. 
B.'s ministry, many prominent members of other churches 
leaving and attaching themselves to this. True, when that 
eloquent and flowery divine, Henry Ward Beecher, organized 
his church, some of Mr. Britten's members went to him ; but 
accessions came from other quarters, so the church continued 
to increase, although some of its most prominent members 
had left. 

The first fair under the auspices of the ladies of this 
church, in the winter of 1838-9, was highly successful, realiz- 
ing about three hundred dollars profit, a larger amount, in 
proportion to the number and wealth of the citizens, than is 
realized from the fairs of the present day. 

On account of one of those unfortunate difi"erences of 
opinion, that sometimes arise in churches as well as other 
organizations, Mr. B. conceived it to be his duty, to himself 
as well as to the church, to resign the rectorship, which he 
did in 1840. 

I understand he has been as useful and successful in other 
fields of ministerial labor as he was here. Long may he live 
to witness the good he has accomplished. 

Joshua M. W. Langsdale. 315 

How chang;ed since he first came here (with his bride), a 
missionary, thirty-two years ago, he found this place a village, 
without an Episcopal house of worship, save the Court House. 
He visited this place a few weeks since, for the purpose of 
placing a monument to the memory of his infant, now dead 
over thirty years. What a change there was presented to his 
view ! The place he left but a village, near thirty years since, 
he found a beautiful city, with four splendid edifices dedi- 
cated to the worship of the Most High, in accordance with 
the peculiar tenets of his own faith. 

It is melancholy to think how many of the prominent men 
and beautiful ladies of that day who contributed so much of 
their means, and encouraged by their presence the Episcopal 
church, have passed away and sleep that sleep that knows no 
waking until the Great Rector shall call them to take their 
places in his congregation above. 


There are but few persons in Indianapolis but what arc 
acquainted with the familiar name of Josh Langsdale. 3Ir. 
Langsdale came to this place from Boone county, Kentucky, 
in the year 1836, and possessed to a considerable degree the 
plain, ofi'-hand, blunt manner peculiar to the citizens of his 
native State. 

In former years he was ever ready to accommodate a person 
with a friendly game of "draw-poker," or stake a ••V" on a 
quarter race, or, if he had confidence in the success of his 
favorite Democratic candidate for office, also risk what he 
called a "sawbuck" (a ten dollar note), on his success. 

Mr. Langsdale could not be considered a very immoral man 
by any means, yet like most every person of that day who 
were unrestrained by their connection with the church, would 
sometimes indulge in those sports and pastimes. 

Alter he had been brought to see the error of his ways and 

316 Early Reminiscences^ 

had attached himself to the Methodist church, of which he is 
now a worthy and respected member, he was as enthusiastic 
in the good cause in which he had engaged as he had ever 
been in the success of the Democratic party on election day. 
It was said of him that on one occasion, at a camp-meeting, 
near Augusta, in this county (and soon after he had joined 
the church), that he commenced to sing a hymn. Brother 
Jimmy Kettleman, in a low tone of voice, said to him, 
"Brother Langsdale you have the wrong tune to that hymn." 
Says Josh, pulling out his pocket-book, "Brother Kettleman? 
I'll go you a 'V that I am right, and that that's the right 
tune; and we'll leave it to 'Old Sorrel'" (the Rev. James 

Whether Mr. Langsdale was right or not, I have no means 
of knowing, but this much I do know, he generally did that 
which he said he would. 

He has now had over twenty years' experience in starting 
and singing hymns, and if he was not right then, I doubt 
whether any could beat him at this time. 

He has held several offices in the gift of the people, an 
important one, that of Trustee of Center Township, and dis- 
charged its duties with credit to himself and fidelity to the 
public interests, and there are but few persons in Indianapolis 
whose check we would rather have, to the bank where they 
transact business, than that of J. M. W. Langsdale. He now 
enjoys the confidence and respect of the entire community. 


Was born in Baltimore, Maryland, October 18, 1806, and 
with his father's family emigrated to Fairfield County, Ohio, 
in the spring of 1812. He came to Indianapolis and engaged 
to help plaster the State House, in the year 1834, and con- 
tinued to follow the business up to 1 862. A large portion of 
the time he was also engaged in farming near the city. 

William J. Brown. 317 

Mr. Owens has raised a family of eight children, six sons 
and tw ) daughters, and furnished from his family five soldiers 
to help fight the battles for the preservation of the Union 
and the success of the stars and stripes, all of which returned 
to cheer the hearts of their parents, 

Mr. Owens is a worthy and honest man, a member of the 
Methodist congregation that worship in Asbury Chapel. One 
of his daughters is the wife of William Wingate, Esq., 
another of our old and respected citizens, he having been 
raised in the city. 

Mr. Owens has for several years been almost totally deprived 
of his eye-sight, but is now so far recovered as to be able to 
attend to his ordinary business, with a fair prospect of entire 

The writer has known him the entire time that he has made 
this county and city his residence, and cheerfully bears testi- 
mony to his many fine traits of character and Christian 
virtues in this brief but truthful way. 


Was a name as familiar to the people of Indiana as that of 
any man in the State, he was known and called by his numer- 
ous acquaintances as "Bill" Brown. 

Mr. Brown was born in Lewis County, Kentucky, in the 
year 1805. In his fourteenth year, 1819, with his relatives, 
settled in Richland Tow^nship, Rush County, Indiana; he 
there received a plain English education and studied law. 

In the summer of 1835 he was a candidate for and elected 
to represent Rush County in the State Legislature, and it was 
while electioneering for this position an incident occured 
which he often told on himself in after years. 

He had gone to the house of an acquaintance, who lived on 
the bank of Flat Rock, by the name of Jones. He enquired 
of the wife of the irentlemau where her husband was, she 

318 Early Reminiscences. 

told him that he had gone down the creek to the mill. 
"Well," said Mr. Brown, to the lady, "Mrs. Jones, as Mr. 
Jones is not at home to-day I will have to electioneer a little 
with you." Mr. B. said she looked him firmly in the eye 
for about a minute, and then said "Mr. Brown, I have been a 
married woman ten years, and you are the first man who ever 
named such a thing to me." Mr. B. explained that he was a 
candidate for the legislature and wished her influence with 
her husband to secure his vote. Said she, "Oh, is that all!" 
He received Mr. Jones' vote and was elected, and here was 
the start of the political career which made him so conspicu- 
ous in after years. 

While a member of the legislature he became very popular, 
especially so with the Democratic members, and during the 
session of 1836-7 he was elected Secretary of State, and in 
January, 1837, with his family removed to Indianapolis and 
entered upon the discharge of the duties of his office, which 
he held for four years. 

In the political whirlwind that swept over the country in 
1810, a legislature was elected which swept him from office, 
not, however, without leaving him many personal friends of 
both political parties. 

In 1811, some who were opposed to him in national politics, 
conceived the idea of running him against the nominee of 
their own party for Representative of the county. Mr. 
Brown was opposed by some of his own political friends, 
on the ground that he would only be sacrificing his time and 
money, as it was deemed almost impossible to -overcome the 
large Whig majority of the previous year, which was about 
three hundred and sixty, a very large majority, when it is 
remembered the whole vote of the county was only about 
fifteen hundred. 

Mr. B. contended if his own friends would only give him 
a clear track and a fair race he could easily overcome the 

Williajii J. Brown. 319 

Vhig majority of the previous year. At last, with reluctance, 
bey yielded and he took the field as an independent candi- 
ate, untramnieled by party pledges. Ilis first appointment to 
peak was at Broad Ripple, in Washington township, a pre- 
inct that gave about one hundred and ten votes, one hundred 
f which were Whig. On Mr B.'s arrival he was astonished 
D find almost the entire voting population of the township 
resent. After the usual salutations with .some of his friends, 
e mounted the rostrum, or stump. He said: " Fcllow-citi- 
ens of Broad Ripple and Washington township, when tlie devil 
3ok our Savior up into the mountains and told him the cat- 
le upon a thousand hills and all the kingdoms of the world, 
nd the glory of them were his if he would fall down and 
worship him," said Mr. B;, "he made a special reservation 
f Washington township to himself and his heirs fotever. 
[ow, my friends, I have come to dispute and try titles with 
im." Mr. Brown decreased the Whig majority in Wash- 
igton township and, to the astonishment of all, was elected 
d the legislature. 

In the year 1843 he was the Democratic candidate against 
iovernor Wallace for Congress, and it was in this canvass he 
^as outwitted by the Governor on one occasion, although he 
^as elected. At the previous session of Congress the Gov- 
rnor had voted for an appropriation of ten thousand dollars 
test the efficiency of the magnetic telegraph, then being 
onstructed between Washington and Baltimore. 3Ir. Brown 
harged the Governor with voting for a useless expenditure 
f the public money, wasting it in trying the experiment of 
ransmitting news by electricity. The charge of roting for 
his appropriation he proved by the Journal of the House. 

By some means the Governor got possession of the Journal 
hat Mr. Brown used, and cut that page out. Mr. Brown 
ad made that charge on one occasion and searched the 
ournal in vain for the proof. Mr. B. politely acknowledged 

320 Early Rtwiniscences. 

that he was beaten on this occasion, but provided himself 
with another Journal and was particular to keep it out of the 
Governor's way. 

In March, 1845, he was appointed by President Polk 
Second Assistant Post Master General, and with his family 
remained in "Washington during that administration. 

When General Taylor became President, in the year 1849, 
Mr. Brown returned to Indiana, and was again elected to 
Congress from his old district, and was iairly elected Speaker 
of the House of Representatives by the votes of its members, 
but before the vote was announced by the chair some of the 
southern members changed their vote, thereby defeating Mr. 
Brown, rather than have a member from a free State hold so 
important a position. They had no cause to be alarmed, for 
Mr. B. would have been, as he ever had, true to his party, 
true to his oath, true to the Constitution and the rights of 
the several States under it. He was ever known to be a State's 
rights man on the question that was then agitating the public, 
and throughout the session voted with those who had defeated 

It was at this session of Congress that the bill known as 
the Compromise of 1850 was passed, admitting California as 
a State into the Union, and settling, for the time being, the 
vexed question of slavery — Mr. Brown voting and acting with 
the friends of the measure. 

He was appointed by President Buchanan's administration 
Special Mail Agent for Indiana, and filled that position (for 
which he was peculiarly fitted) up to the time of his death, 
which occurred in 1859. 

Mr. Brown was a fair lawyer, but a much better politician, 
and possessed a great deal of tact in that way. Whoever saw 
Bill Brown mount the stump or rostrum to address an audi- 
ence, can forget his broad grin, which generally convulsed his 
auditory with laughter before he spoke a word ? 

Joseph 31. 31oore. 321 

He was a very liberal man, and never valued money farther 
than for the comforts it would furnish his family, to which he 
was devotedly attached. 

His wife resides about three miles south of the city. He 
left five children, three sons and two daughters. His eldest 
son, Austin H. Brown, was Collector of Internal Revenue, for 
the Indianapolis District, during the administration of Presi- 
dent Johnson, and has, for several years, represented his ward 
in the Common Council. His second son. Captain George 
Brown, of the U. S. Navy, rendered signal service to the Gov- 
ernment, during the late war, as Commandant of one of the 
gun-boats. The third son, William, is engaged in the city as 
a clerk in a store. 

His eldest daughter is a widow, and resides with her mother. 
The second daughter is the wife of E. L. Palmer (son of N. 
B. Palmer), a book merchant of the city. 

Mr. Brown was a plain, frank man ; no duplicity or deceit 
could be found in his composition, and he will long be remem- 
bered as one of Indiana's most successful politicians. 

JOSEPH M. :mooee 

"Was born in the city of New York on the 9th of April, 1813, 
but with his mother lived in Newark, New Jersey, the most 
of his life, until he came to Indianapolis in the summer of 

Mr. Moore was the cousin of our esteemed fellow-citizen, 
James M. Ray, who had sent for him for the purpose of edu- 
cating and fitting him, as he did, for business. 

Mr. Calvin Fletcher had been visiting his friends in the 
East, and took charge of Mr. Moore (who was only in his 
eleventh year), and brought him to this place ; from the Ohio 
River they both rode the same horse. 

Mr. Moore received the most of his education in the same 
school with the writer, which was taught by that benevolent 

322 Early Heminiscences. 

and christian man, Ebenezer Sharpe. AVhen he had finished 
his education he was deputy in the oflSce of county clerk, 
then filled by his cousin, and it was there, under the instruc- 
tion of that good man, his habits and character were formed, 
which afterwards proved to be so useful to society. 

He then was the active partner in the store of J. 31. Moore 
& Co. ; the other partners were James M. Ray, James Blake 
and the late Nicholas McCarty. They did business on the 
west corner of the alley, on the north side of Washington, 
between Meridian and Pennsylvania streets. 

In the year 1840 he was selected to edit the campaign pa- 
per, the " Spirit of Seventy-Six," that advocated the election 
of General Harrison to the Presidency with signal ability. 

After the old hero was installed as President, Mr. Moore 
was appointed postmaster in this city, but after the defection 
of President Tyler from the Whig party, in 1841. he was 
the first victim to proscription ; he was removed and his pre- 
decessor reinstated. 

About the year 1844 he was appointed cashier of the branch 
at Madison of the State Bank of Indiana ; when the afi"airs 
of that bank were wound up he filled the same position in the 
branch of the Bank of the State, and continued there until 
his death in January, 1858, 

Mr. Moore was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, 
and was among the first to leave it and join the Episcopal 
Church when it was first organized by the Rev. J. B. Britton 
as its Rector, in 1837. 

As a business man he was of more than ordinary ability, 
and with his strict integrity and attention to business made 
him a valuable acquisition to any business institution. 

He was a fair political writer, and, as such, rendered great 
service to the Whig cause in editing the paper above men- 

After Mr. Moore's death his family returned to this city. 

Charles W, Cady, 323 

and are still resident here. Ills oldest son, who bears the 
father's name, married the grand-daughter of his father's for- 
mer preceptor, and daughter of Thomas H. Sharpe, Esq. ; he 
was engaged in the wholesale drug business, and was one of 
the victims to the fire of the Morrison Opera House building 
that occurred on the night of the 17th of January, 1870. 

A second son is engaged as clerk in the wholesale grocery 
establishment of Alford, Talbot & Co. 

His other three children are daughters, one of which is 
married ; the other two reside with their mother on East 
Michigan street. 


Was a native of New Hampshire, having been born in the 
village of Keene; but when his father was elected Secretary 
of State he, with him, became a resident of Concord, the cap- 
ital, and there resided until he came to this place, in May, 

He was the first Secretary of the Indiana Mutual Insurance 
Company, of which James Blake was the President, and they 
managed its business jointly for about fifteen years, 

Mr. Cady was a very liberal and kind-hearted man, and 
contributed of his means, without stint, for all charitable pur- 
poses. Although not a member of any church, he was active 
in organizing the first Episcopal Church (Christ) in this city, 
and formed one of its congregation as long as he lived. 

In his young days he had been afflicted with white swell- 
ing, which caused one of his knees to be stiff, thereby laming 

He was very fond of hunting, and when he first came to 
this city the country abounded in game of all kinds. 

On one occasion, he and the brother of the writer of this 
notice went, before daylight, over to Fall Creek bottoms, 
where it was known several broods of wild turkeys roosted. 

324 Early Reminiscences. 

Mr. Cady crossed the creek on the bridge on the Crawsords- 
ville State road, and went up on the west side. My brother 
continued on the east side. When three or four hundred 
yards above the bridge, my brother commenced calling the 
turkeys, which he did by using the wing bone of one, imi- 
tating them so nearly as to defy detection. While calling in 
this way, he discovered Mr. Cady approaching on the opposite 
side of the creek. My brother then slipped behind a tree and 
called again. Mr. Cady then stepped into the creek, the water 
coming above his knees, and waded over. My brother, to 
avoid detection, had left the place of his concealment and 
gone further into the woods. 

On their return, with several fine turkeys which they had 
killed, my brother told the joke on Mr. Cady, who did not 
positively deny it, but said it might have been some other 
person that waded the creek. My brother replied that he 
could not be mistaken, as he knew Mr. Cady by his limping. 
This irritated him. He said he had never limped in his life. 
It was but a few days until this breach in their friendship 
was healed, and they were ready for another turkey hunt. 

On another occasion, he and a particular friend, who was 
equally irritable, were gunning in company. They both had 
shot at a flock of wild pigeons at the same moment, but only 
one bird fell. They both claimed to have killed it, which 
caused hard feelings between them, and they did not speak 
to each other for several days, although they boarded at the 
same house and took their meals at the same table. 

He was quick to take any slight, whether intended or not, 
and as quick to forgive and forget it. 

He was a great gallant of the young ladies, as well as a 
favorite with the sex whether married or single. 

Mr. Cady died in November, 1855, leaving a widow and 
five children — two sons and three daughters — all of whom 
still reside here. 

Doctor Abner Pope. 325 

His wife was Miss Keirsted, of Cincinaati, a niece of the 
late George H. Dunn, of Lawrenceburg. 


Was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in the year 1793, a place 
made famous, during the last century, for the superstition of 
its inhabitants and the punishment of such as were suspected 
of witchcraft. 

Dr. Pope descended from an English family that came over 
to this country soon after the arrival of the Mayflower. Dr. 
Franklin (his mother being a Pope) came over with the same 

Dr. Pope is a quaker and uses the plain language. " Thee," 
"thou" and "thine," are upon his flippant tongue. He also 
dresses in the peculiar style of that religious organization, 
broad-brimmed white hat and round-breasted coat, generally 
of the drab color. 

He practiced medicine upon the Steam or Thompsonian 
principle, and had in his shop a long box made water-tight, 
in which he placed his patients and raised the steam on them 
to one hundred and twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit, and after 
limbering in this way for some time, he would douse them 
head and heels into ice-cold water, and rub them well with a 
dry towel. 

Whether he killed more than he cured, I am not prepared 
to say; but I occasionally see some of our old citizens that 
went through this operation walking about the streets, appa- 
rently none the worse, if not considerably better for it. 

In the Doctor's shop and store, which were togothcr, and 
located on the north side of Washin2;tou street, near where 
the Trade Palace now stands, was to be found all kinds 
of merchandise with, perhaps, the exception of bar iron. 
'■''Bitter yerbs,'^ all kinds of vegetable medicines, and every 
other article, from a paper of lettuce seed to a fine shawl, or 

326 Early Beminiscenccs. 

silver thimble to silk hose. His store was generally the last 
resort for any article scarce in the market, and when not to 
be found at Dr. Pope's, the search for it was abandoned. 

He was a warm and enthusiastic Whig, and advocated the 
measures of that party with great zeal and earnestness. In 
the year 1844, some waggish neighbor played a prank upon 
him by hoisting a rooster in front of his door. 

He left his native town when quite young and lived in Bal- 
timore, Maryland, until the spring of 1836, when he came to 
Indianapolis, and has resided here ever since. Although now 
seventy-seven years of age, he is looking hale and hearty, and 
bids fair to live many years longer. 


Was a native of Pennsylvania, but came to Corydon when it 
was the capital of the State, and, as a journeyman printer, 
worked on the State work in the office of John Douglass, the 
father of two of the late proprietors of the " Indianapolis 
State Journal.' 

Mr. Culley then went to Lawrenceburg and edited and pub- 
lished the "Indiana Palladium," a paper in the interest of 
and advocating the election of General Jackson to the Presi- 

He was an active and enthusiastic politician, and advocated 
his opinions with a force and fluency that few possessed. He 
was a man of more than ordinary ability, sound judgment 
and great stability of character. I remember him well as 
one of the active and leading men of his party while in the 
legislature as Senator of Dearborn County. 

In the canvass for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, in 
the year 1831, he was placed on the Jackson ticket as its can- 
didate for the latter, with James G. Read for Governor against 
Noah Noble and Milton Stapp, the Clay candidates. Although 
his party were in a majority in the State, the great populaiity 

Dadd V. Cullnj. 327 

of Governor Noble carried the election of the Lieutenant 
Governor, and Mr. Culley was defeated. 

In the year 183G, he was appointed, by General Jackson, 
Register of the Land Ofl&ce for the Indianapolis district, and, 
with his family, removed to this place, and resided here until 
the time of his death, June 4, 18G9. 

Soon after his removal to this place, he identified himself 
with the benevolent and charitable institutions of the city, 
ever taking a deep interest in Sunday Schools, and, afterwards, 
the general free school system of the State and city. He 
was, for years, one of the trustees of the latter, and took a 
lively interest in the cause of education generally. 

He was one of the leading members of the Second Presby- 
terian Church, becoming so while it was under the pastorate 
of that well known and flowery divine, Henry Ward Beechcr. 

Mr. Culley was often appointed by will, and selected on 
the dying bed, as administrator of estates, always complying 
cheerfully with the request of the dead, and performing the 
duties to the entire satisfaction of the living. 

In writing of so many old and departed but not forgotten 
friends, brings a sad clearness of the past and crowds my 
memory with many pleasing recollections, as well as melan- 
choly regrets; and we sometimes feel that we are almost the 
last of the pioneers of Indiana. 

Mr. Culley was of a pleasant disposition, and had a kind 
word for all. In person he was about five feet eight inches 
in height, spare made, with mild dark eyes, black hair and 
dark complexion. 

In his attire he was plain and neat, and possessed a great 
deal of native dignity, with a fine address. We have noticed 
him, while a member of the Senate, called on to temporarily 
preside, which he did with a dignity and promptness found in 
but few presiding officers of the present day: indeed, it was 

328 Early Reminiscendes. 

this fact that secured him the nomination for Lieutenant 
Governor in 1831. But he has o;one from amonc: the livins. 

So fades, so perishes, grows dim and dies 
All that the world is proud of." 


The connection that existed between Mr. Smith and the 
writer makes it somewhat embarrassing to him to say what he 
would under other circumstances. 

He was a native of the central part of the State of New 
York, and when quite a young man went south and for a few 
years engaged in the shipping business in Charleston, South 

He then returned north and engaged in the wholesale liquor 
business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Thence to New York City, and was there married to Miss 
Maria B. Lloyd, who was the mother of his several children. 
From New York City he removed to the neighborhood of his 
birth place, and established a furnace for the nmnufacture of 
iron. Thence to Rochester, Monroe County, where he resided 
until his removal to Indianapolis, in November, 1838. 

At the latter place he contributed considerable to the im- 
provement of the city and making it what it is to-day, one of 
the most beautiful cities of the Union. 

When he left this last place to find a home for himself and 
his family it was a formidable undertaking, as there was no rail- 
roads, as now, to facilitate their journey, and when he parted 
with his friends it was thought to be a last and long farewell, 
but such has been the progress and improvement in locomo- 
tion that they now often meet, in what was then the Western 
wilds, those whom they never expected to again meet on this 
side of the grave. 

In less than one short year after Mr. Smith's arrival at his 
new home, she, who had thus far in life's journey been the 

Justin Smith. 329 

partner of his bosom, fell a victim to a malij^naiit fever, aud 
left him without the counsel and advice of his best friend, 
and his children without a mother whom they loved so well. 

Mrs. Smith was a lady of fine accomplishments, having been 
educated at one of the best female institutions in New York, 
and endowed with such personal attractions that her place was 
never filled in the heart of him she left behind. 

Mr. Smith was not a fashionable christian, but practiced 
the genuine as he went along in kindness to the poor and acts 
of charity. He seldom gave to societies, but found the ob- 
jects of charity on the highway or in the by-ways. 

In the year 1844 a distinguished man of the State died. 
Mr. S. was asked if he was going to the funeral ; his answer 
was, "as this was a rich and distinguished man there would 
be plenty there to bury him." A few weeks after this a well 
known pauper died ; the funeral procession consisted of the 
hearse, a country wagon, with the relatives of the deceased, 
and Mr. Smith in the rear in his buggy. 

At the time the Roberts' Chapel congregation worshipped 
in the Court House, Mr. Smith heard that their preacher 
(Rev. Mr. Bayliss) was a Democrat, so he attended his meet- 
ings quite regular. One evening there was considerable reli- 
gious excitement in the congregation. Ttje. minister invited 
the mourners to come forward to the altar to be prayed for. 
Mr. Smith, having a curiosity to know who wanted prayibg 
for, rose to his feet, and resting on his cane, was discovered 
by the minister, who invited him in this way : " Will father 
Smith come forward?" Mr. Smith very deliberately went for- 
ward, took a five-franc piece from his pocket, laid it on the 
table, and remarked : " If that will pay you for the trouble 
I've been to you, I shall not visit your church again." So 
he never again went to hear Mr. Bayliss; he did not like to 
be called father Smith, nor singled out in that way. 

Mr. Smith was a large, portly man, and possessed eonsid- 

330 Early Reminiscences. 

erable political information. He said to the writer over thirty 
years ago, that the seed was then being sown which would 
produce the bloodiest intestine war the world ever knew of. 

Mr. Smith's eldest daughter, Mary Francis, is the wife of 
y. C. Hanna, eldest son of General Robert Hanna. 

The second daughter, Amelia Theresa, the writer claims by 
right of pre-emption. 

The third daughter, Julia Anna (now dead), was the wife 
of Elwood Fisher, who was one of the readiest political wri- 
ters of his day. He was, in 1850, the editor of the " South- 
ern Press," in Washington City. This paper was the organ 
of the extreme southern party that opposed the compromise 
of that year. 

Mr. Fisher went south when the war broke out in 1861, 
and died at Atlanta, Georgia, in the fall of 1862. 

The fourth daughter of Mr. Smith is the wife of Doctor 
Charles W. Stumm, of Piqua, Ohio. 

The eldest son, P. B. L. Smith, died at Marsailles, France, 
in February, 1868. 

The second son, Adolphus Henry, resides at Cincinnati and 
is a retired banker. 

The third and youngest son, Frederick A. Smith, is a resi- 
dent of this city. 

Mr. Smith has several nephews living in the West, two of 
whom, Generals Morgan L. and Giles A. Smith, were promi- 
nent in the war for the preservation of the Union. The lat- 
ter is now Assistant Postmaster General, and has charge of 
the appointment office in that department. 

Justin Smith died on Friday the 29th of December, 1854, 
and now sleeps by the side of his daughter (Mrs. Fisher) in 
that beautiful city of the dead, Spring Grove Cemetery, near 

William S. HabharcL 331 


Is one of the citizens of Indianapolis who has proved by de- 
monstration and success in business that some things can be 
done as well as others, i. e,, that a man with a reasonable 
share of industry, perseverance and economy can achieve 
what capital often fails to accomplish — the building up a for- 
tune — and that brain is sometimes indispensable. 

Mr. Hubbard is a native of Connecticut, having been born 
in Middletown in May, 1816. In 1837, at the age of twenty- 
one, he came to Indianapolis as clerk to the Board of State 
Fund Commissioners — Dr. Coe, Caleb B. Smith and Samuel 
Hanna — at a salary of five hundred dollars per year. Doctor 
Coe advanced him the necessary amount to pay his traveling 
expenses from the East to this place. 

Out of the first year's salary he was enabled to save two 
hundred and fifty dollars ; this moiety of his salary he in- 
vested in a lot and cabin which he purchased of Judge Black- 
ford and Henry P. Coburn, and it was here, with that two 
hundred and fifty dollars, the foundation of a fortune was 
laid, and proved that it was as necessary to have capital in 
the cranium as in the pocket. 

It is quite unnecessary to my purpose to follow Mr. Hub- 
bard in the diflFerent pursuits he has followed and trades he 
has made; 'tis suflScient to know that w^ith this beginning he 
now owns some of the most valuable business property in the 
city. One piece, known as Hubbard's Block, on the south- 
west corner of Washington and Meridian streets, once known 
as the Jerry Collins' corner. 

He also owns and lives in one of the largest, as well as finest, 
private residences on North Meridian street, and in that part 
of the city where the heau mondc do mostly congregate. 

He also, in connection with others, has lately purchased a 
tract of suburban property which they contemplate laying 
out in small lots as an addition to the city. 

832 Early Reminiscences. 

Mr. Hubbard, by his energy and enterprise, has not only 
built up a fortune for himself, but has added much to the im- 
provement of the city and advancement in price of other per- 
sons' property. 

About the year 1840 he returned to his native State and 
was there married, and was fortunate in the selection of a 
wife that reflected his own disposition and was content to live 
in a frugal and rational manner, and in their dress and out- 
ward appearance showed no disposition to imitate the follies 
and fashions of the day, and amid the hum and bustle of the 
more wealthy and showy remained the same they were when 
they first left the shadow of the parental roof, and by this 
means they have been enabled to accumulate a competency 
for the present and any future exigency that may arise, and 
is indebted to his own industry for what he has heretofore in 
a manner been indebted to others, and his highest hopes and 
aspirations have been more than realized. 

Although Mr. Hubbard is the architect of his own fortune, 
he has been aided by the advice and counsel of good and 
sound-minded men, such as James M. Ray, Edwin J. Peck, 
and that venerable old citizen, Colonel James Blake, whose 
friendships are invaluable to any person so fortunate as to 
possess them. And he has been enabled to retain them by 
never allowing himself to be guilty of any breach of truth, 
trust, or good faith, which are the cementing principles of 
confidence in business men, and which many have made great 
sacrifices by not observing, and precipitated their own ruin. 

Mr. Hubbard is a member of the Second Presbyterian 
Church, and was active and energetic in building the present 
fine edifice which has just been dedicated. 

He is a man of medium size, quick and active in his move- 
ments, and whatsoever his hands findeth to do he does it with 
all his might. He has a pleasing address and afi"able manner, 
and is a much younger-looking man than he really is. 

Adam Haagh. 333 


We clip from the "Indianapolis Journal" of the 16th of 
August, 1869, this sketch of the life, and of the funeral ser- 
mon of this venerable man. He has three sons engaged in 
active business in this city. Benjamin F. and Emanuel are 
large manufacturers of wrought and cast iron railing, bank 
vaults and improved iron jails. Joseph is cashier of the Citi- 
zens' National Bank. A fourth son, John, is a resident of 
California, having gone to that State in 1850, since which 
time he had not seen his father's family until a few weeks 
before the latter's death, and was here at that time. 

Mr. Haugh's daughters, I believe, all reside in this city. 
His sons are universally respected for their strict integrity, 
temperate and industrious habits and gentlemanly bearing, 
and are worthy sons of christian parents : 

"The Journal of Saturday last contained a notice of the 
death of Adam Haugh, an old resident of this city, which 
occurred on the day previous. Mr. Haugh was born February 
9, 1789, in Frederick County, Maryland, and was married 
September 28, 1813, to Mary E. Reck, sister of the Rev. A. 
Reck, who organized the first Lutheran Church in this city. 
He emigrated to this city in the fall of 1836, arriving here 
November 19th. At that time the city had a population of 
3,000. For two years he was engaged in blacksmithing, in 
partnership with James Van Blaricum, and then built a shop 
on the site of the old Journal building, corner of Circle and 
Meridian streets. He had a remarkable constitution — ^vas 
never confined to his bed but one day in his life until his late 
illness. Raised a family of ten children — five boys and five 
girls. There have been but two deaths in the family. A 
son, Adam Haugh, Jr., died in July, 1850, at the age of 
twenty four years, being the first death in thirty-seven years, 
and now the subject of this sketch, being the second death 

334 Early Reminiscences. 

in fifty-six years. The balance of the family are all here at 

"His disease was cancer on the face, from which he suffered 
most intensely, but with the greatest patience and resigna- 
tion. His life has been that of an honest, truthful, upright 
man, and humble, faithful, zealous christian. 

"His wife survives him, but can not, at her advanced age, 
expect, to remain very long on this side of the dark valley. 

"The funeral services took place at the Second Presbyterian 
Church, at half-past three o'clock yesterday afternoon, the 
audience in attendance being a very large one. The opening 
prayer, which was a touching and appropriate one, was made 
by Rev. William W. Criley, of the English Lutheran Church, 
The sermon was delivered by Rev. C. H. Marshall, of the 
Fourth Presbyterian Church, of which the deceased was a 
member; the text being from Job 5, 26: 'Thou shalt come 
to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in 
full season.' 

"In commencing, he said that death claims all seasons for 
his own, and claims for his harvest persons of all ages. The 
infant in its helplessness and budding beauty, youth in the 
time of its most lofty hopes and anticipations, middle age 
with its strength and its usefulness, all are liable to be gath- 
ered by the reaper, while we tenderly and gently lay away 
the man of age for his eternal rest. The grave opens to 
receive all. But here we read what seems to be a promise or 
a privilege which is granted to comparatively few. The 
analogy of the text is a beautiful one. Like the ripening 
wheat, our bodily powers increase for a seasoti, and we steadily 
gain in strength and power until we reach a time when we 
gain no longer and gradually pass to the stage of ripeness, 
and if this season is given to a man it is a great privilege. 
So it is with our mental powers. Ry-and-by we come to a 
time when we can go no further with our imagination or rea- 

Adam Hauyh. 335 

son. We cease to acquire, and live in the knowledge of the 
past. So, also, with our spiritual powers. In early infancy 
we lie in our mother's arms weak and feeble; and again when 
we are born into a christian life we lie in the arms of Infinite 
Love, waiting for the growth of the seeds of spiritual truth, 
which fall into the soul and go on until the full maturity of 
christian character is reached. To him nothing seemed more 
beautiful than rich, ripe and full christian old age. It is 
more beautiful than the autumn leaves, or than any other 
object in nature. 

"We are called to-day to follow to its last resting place the 
body of one who has passed through the full period allotted 
to man. Death comes as a shock at any other period of life. 
It is a great hardship to give up the little child upon whom 
we have placed our hopes. To the man in middle life, in the 
very time of his greatest usefulness, and when many are 
dependent upon his strength, the blow comes still harder. 
It seems like taking the keystone from the arch, leaving it 
without the strength to support it. To the young man, just 
coming upon the stage of usefulness, and when hopes and 
aspirations are highest, death seems very sad. We find in 
our graveyards emblems of these events, and when we see the 
little lamb or the broken bud on our tombstones, we can not 
feel otherwise than sad and sorrowful. And so, too, with the 
broken column, emblem of man cut oflf in the midst of his 
usefulness and strength. But, for old age, we should have 
some symbol of beautiful perfection, such as the tree in its 
strength or the column completed, for of all beautiiul things 
ripe old age is the most so. The work of life has been done, 
not only in the household, but in society and in the church. 
Theirs can not be a history broken off in the middle. It is 
not like a fragmentary form, of which we can read a lew stanzas 
only to regret that there is no more. It is a finished work. 

"A long life is beautiful because of the opportunity it 

336 Early Reminiscences. 

gives of usefulness, and the great influence -which may be 
exerted by it. Here is one who has been for more than fifty 
years a follower of Christ. His life has not been a striking 
or brilliant one, but during all this time, as day has followed 
day and year has followed year, the influence of this christian 
life has been felt, and the whole sum is wonderful. AYe may 
not see the whole result of this influence, but God notes it 
all, and it will be felt for many years to come. To you, as 
you noticed his last suffering, with all his peaceful submis- 
sion, came up afresh all the intercourse of your lives with 
him, and the recollection of the times when you sat on his 
knee and listened to his counsel. When we fall in middle 
age we can have had no chance to exert an influence so per- 
fect and complete. 

'' It is said by some that death in childhood is beautiful — 
when the infant is taken from all the trials and difficulties of 
a long life in this world ; but to me it does not seem so. 
Some may think it beautiful to be stricken down in the har- 
ness, in the very midst of activity and usefulness; but to me 
there is nothing more beautiful than old age, after a life of 
usefulness and good influence, sitting quietly down and wait- 
ing for the Master to open the door and bid them 'come.' It 
is a blessed thing, at whatever time of life it may come, to 
find one looking back over well spent days and ready alike 
for active usefulness, if the time for that has not passed, or 
for the summons of the Master if the time for the reaper has 

"The Scriptures liken the perfect christian growth to that 
of the palm tree. At first it is weak and feeble, but in time 
it becomes a stately tree, while from year to year the leaves 
and projections of the early growth, representing sin and 
deformity, drop ofi" as the love of Christ is strengthened, and 
in time it stands the perfect trunk, with its perfect crest of 
beautiful leaves. 

John H. Wright. 337 

"Death at old age, as in this case, remiuds us of our grati- 
tude to God. I remember, at an early period of my ministry 
here, I was called upon to attend a golden wedding, the first 
one occurring in my congregation. These children of the 
old couple will all remember that fiftieth anniversary of their 
parents' marriage. I remember a large picture that was pre- 
sented to them, containing portraits of all their children and 
their grandchildren. There was but one space left vacant, 
and I remember asking who it was for. The answer was, that 
it was left vacant in memory of one who had died in early 
life. And this was the only link in the long chain that was 
missing. How many families of our community have such 
cause for thankfulness that their home ties have not been 
broken. Very many there are who have never known a 
mother's love or a father's guidance. In this case, the father 
lived to see all his children come to the strength of manhood 
and womanhood. It was his privilege to welcome home, but 
a short time before his death, one who had come from a dis- 
tant shore, and around his bed all were gathered before he 
breathed his last." 


Was the first merchant of Indianapolis to inaugurate the sys- 
tem of selling goods for cash only, which he did in the fall 
of 1838, at which time he first made this city his residence; 
but he soon discovered that the Hoosiers were not willing to 
give up the credit system, by which they had done business 
from the first settlement of the place, so he gradually fell into 
the prevailing custom of the times. 

He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, but when 
a boy, with his father's family, removed to Philadelphia, from 
Philadelphia to Richmond, Indiana, where he was principally 
raised, and was engaged in business previous to his removal 
to this place. 


338 Early Reminiscences. 

He was a fine business man, and during his eight years resi- 
dence in this city did a large business in the sale of dry goods 
and purchase of produce. He was the first person to pur- 
chase and pack pork in this place for a foreign market. He 
died in the summer of 1846, leaving a wife and two sons, all 
of whom yet reside in the city. His wife was afterwards mar- 
ried to Dr. Charles Parry and yet resides in her elegant man- 
sion on the northeast corner of Ohio and Meridian streets. 

His eldest son, Frank, is engaged largely in the brewing 
and manufacture of ale, which is well known in this and other 
markets as " Frank Wright's Cream Ale." 

The second son, Dr. Mansur Wright, is one of the practic- 
ing physicians of the city. The two sons inherit to a con- 
siderable degree the liberality and companionable qualities 
for which their father was justly celebrated. 


Was a native of the Key Stone State, having been born in 
Berks County, but was raised and educated in Philadelphia, 
and was a graduate of the Jefi"erson Medical College of that 

I remember having traveled with the Doctor from Philadel- 
phia to Cincinnati, when he, in company with his relative, the 
late Hon. 0. H. Smith, was coming to the West in search of 
a location, in the spring of 1837. 

For eighteen months he lived in the eastern part of Indi- 
ana and there practiced medicine. He came to this city in 
September, 1838, and here he remained up to the time of his 
death in the summer of 1861. 

During his twenty-three years' residence in this city no 
man was more respected than was Dr. Parry ; his genial man- 
ners, kind and obliging disposition, and his great liberality, 
endeared him to all with whom he was acquainted. 

As a physician he ranked high, as a surgeon pre-eminently 

Frank Mansur. 339 

so, and had a reputation as a skillful and successful operator 
throughout the State. He had the confidence and respect of 
the other physicians of the city with scarcely an exception, 
and was often called by them in consultation. 


Says that he made his first appearance upon the stage of ac- 
tion at Richmond, Indiana, in the year 1828, and that he 
knows it to be true, for he was there in person ; and also, that 
he is the son of his father, the old gentleman, and that he has 
ever tried to be a good and dutiful son, as he is. 

He first came to Indianapolis in 1840, a boy twelve years 
Df age ; just as he alighted from the stage-coach his attention 
was attracted to a dog fight that was in progress on the cor- 
ner of Washington and Meridian streets ; this he witnessed 
Defore he reported to his friends who were expecting him. 

He has engaged in various avocations since he has been a 
'esident of this city. No inconsiderable portion of the time 
las been devoted to fishing and hunting, and when not directly 
engaged in he was preparing for it ; indeed no fishing or hunt- 
ng party would be considered made up without Frank Man- 
5ur. Although he is on the shady side of forty, and a great 
idmirer of the ladies, he still seems unwilling to raise a bar- 
rier between himself and his untrammeled liberty in the shape 
)f matrimony, and would rather be "a jolly fellow," than, 
ike Rip Van Winkle, subject to have his hair yanked for any 
lelinquency pertaining to conjugal felicity. He has many 
jvarni friends in this city who 

" Lo'ed him like a vera brither." 

Although Mr. Mansur has done considerable in the fishing 
ine, I would not have the reader think that he neglects his 
Dther business. He is engaged in a first-class livery and sale 
stable on West Pearl street. 

340 Early Reminiscences. 

He resides with his venerable father, Jeremiah Mansur, who 
has been a citizen of this city for several years. 

Zachariah and William Mansur, his brothers, are also resi- 
dents of this city, and prominent among the business men. 
They are now engaged in banking, Zachariah on his own ac- 
count, and William a large stockholder in the Citizens' Bank. 


Was a Yankee in every sense of the word. He was from 
Bennino-ton. Vermont. In heigrht he was about five feet four 
inches, broad, stoop shoulders, large aquiline nose, and head 
entirely bald, except a little hair above the ears ; the baldness 
ran to the back of his head. His eye was as keen and as 
quick in its motion as that of an eagle. In talking he drawled 
his words out in true Yankee style. In religion he was a 
forty-gallon Baptist, and in politics a Democrat of the old 

He kept a stove store on the southeast corner of Washing- 
ton and Meridian streets, but liked to talk religion and poli- 
tics rather better than he did about the sale of his stoves. 

On one occasion an old Methodist man, named McCarty, 
came in to purchase a stove. Mr. Grover was engaged in 
blacking some second-hand ones and preparing them for sale. 
The stove dealer, after showing his assortment to Mr. McCarty, 
sounded him on religion, and found him to be a believer in 
the doctrine of free agency. " I believe," said the dealer, 
"that God fore-knew all things from the beginning, and fore- 
knowledge is fore-ordination, and what will free agency amount 
to when God willed our destiny?" "Don't insult me," said 
McCarty, " with your h — llish doctrine of Calvin, that would 
consign infants not a span long to perdition ; your heart is as 
hard as your stoves, and as black as your face ; I'll not trade 
with such a man." He then turned to leave the store in quite 
a rage. " Friend," said Grover, *' don't get excited, let's talk 

James B. Mann. 341 

matters over. What might be your name?" " McCarty," 
was the answer. " Ah, MeCarty, McCarty," said the stove 
dealer; "are you akin to Nicholas McCarty?" "No;" said 
McCarty, " thank God, I am not, nor to any other Whig." 
" My friend," said Grover, " give us your hand ; we differ on 
minor questions, but we agree on the main one, and friend 
you're a Dimakrat ; we'll merge those minor questions for 
the sake of the main one, Dimocracyy 

In consideration of Mr. McCarty's political faith Mr. Gro- 
ver sold him the stove for two dollars less than the usual 

In after years we often saw the two old men sitting in the 
shade of the stove dealer's store, and we judged by their earn- 
est manner, and the frequent slaps of Mr. Grover's hand upon 
the side of the house, and hearing him use the name of Henry 
Clay in no very pleasant manner, that they were not convers- 
ing on the subject of free agency or fore-ordination. 

Both of those worthy Democrats have passed away, and I 
hope neither have gone to that place assigned by Parson 
Brownlow to all of that political faith. 


Was a native of Kentucky, born in Kenton County in the 
year 1826, and when in his tenth year came to Marion County 
and resided in Franklin township until he had attained an age 
suitable to be married. 

He then selected the daughter of Mr. Purnel Coverdill, a 
well known and respectable fiirmer of that neighborhood, and 
was married. 

Miss Coverdill having become a "Mann" they have not 
been blessed with any little Manns of their own to be the prop 
and stay of declining years, but he has raised three orphans 
and proved himself "a father to the fatherless," and that 
" Mann's a man for a' that." 

342 Early Beminiscences. 

Mr. Mann has been engaged in the family grocery business 
on Virginia avenue for several years, and seems to think that 
a grocer should not be without profits in his own country. 

He is a member of the First Baptist Church and a zealous 
worker in the Sunday School of the Mission Church, at the 
corner of Noble and South streets. There is no person more 
respected by his neighbors than James B. Mann. 


Came to his present residence, one and a half miles southeast 
of the city, from Boone County, Kentucky, in the year 1837. 
He is well known as one of our best and most frugal farmers, 
and the producer of the finest qualities and greatest varieties 
of fruits. His farm has been well known for its fine produc- 
tions of choice fruits since the first settlement of the county. 
On it was the first nursery of the late Aaron Aldridge. 

Mr. Canby's familiar countenance may be seen upon our 
streets every few days ; although somewhat advanced in years 
he yet seems in full vigor of life. 


One of the leading wholesale business men of South Merid- 
ian street, being connected with the house of Alford, Talbot 
& Co., was a native of Pennsylvania, born and raised in Alle- 
ghany County, near Pittsburg. 

He came to Indianapolis quite a young man in 1836, and 
for about three years was a clerk in the store of Bussell, Hol- 
land & Co., on the northeast corner of Washington and Penn- 
sylvania streets, where Odd Fellows' Hall now stands. 

He then went to Noblesville and there engaged in the dry 
goods business, and remained until 1854, at which time he 
returned to and has continued in this city ever since. 

While at Noblesville he was married to a niece of the late 
William Conner of that place. 

Frederick Christian. Hermining. 343 

Mr. Patterson was one of the victims to that disastrous fire 
on the night of the 17th of January, 1870, the Morrison Op- 
era House, but on the next day their firm were again in busi- 
ness, with a good stock of goods, two squares from the scene 
of their misfortunes of the previous evening, which sliows a 
great industry as well as enterprise. 


This worthy German came from the City of Minden, Prus- 
sia, to this place in the year 1836. He had five children — 
two sons and three daughters. He brought with him, from 
the old country, four hundred dollars in coin, with which he 
purchased land in Hancock County, near Cumberland. This 
is now owned by his eldest son, bearing the name of the 
father, who is one of the most prosperous farmers in that 
German neighborhood. This worthy man I knew well, he 
having lived with me several years. 

The other son, Frederick William, is a resident of this city, 
doing a mercantile business on East Washington street, near 
Liberty, and possesses the confidence of his German friends 
to a great degree, who manifest their confidence in him by 
bestowing upon him their patronage. 


Is another German, that came to this place in the mouth 
of January, 1846. He was a tailor by trade, and for sev- 
eral years worked for the late Edward McGuire. He has 
been successful, and is now the owner of some fine city prop- 
erty on South Delaware street, where he resides and keeps a 
well supplied family grocery. He is a remarkably kind man, 
and popular with his German friends. 

344 Early Reminiscences. 


A native of Bavaria, came to the United States in tbe year 
1852. He became a resident of this city a few years subse- 
quent, and has continued to reside here ever since. He is 
quite popular with all his acquaintances, both German and 
American. He married, some years since, a Miss Baldwin, 
the daughter of a respectable Morgan County farmer. 

( harlie is now engaged in business opposite Little's Hotel, 
on East Washington street, and keeps one of the neatest res- 
taurants in the city, where every delicacy calculated to cheer 
the inner man may be found, and he waits upon his customers 
in a kind and gentlemanly manner. We commend him to all 
as a clever man. 


Was born at Frankfort-upon-the-Main, When a boy he, with 
his parents, emigrated to the United States and settled in 
Jefferson County, near Madison, Indiana. When at the proper 
age, he engaged with William Taylor, a prominent saddler of 
that place, to learn the business. 

In the year 1852, he came to this city and immediately 
engaged in the manufacture of saddles and harness, and 
everything that pertains to the wardrobe of a horse. Mr. 
Hereth is now one of the leading mechanics of this city. 

At the State Fair of 1869, he offered a fine side-saddle as 
a present to the second best lady equestrian, which was won 
and received by a lady of Shelby County. The superior man- 
ufacture of the article and the fine quality of the material of 
which it was made, were highly creditable to the worthy 
mechanic, and proved his goodness of heart and his liberality 
in business. His shop, for the manufacture and sale of his 
fine harness, is on North Delaware street, opposite the Court 
House square. 

Paul B. L. SmitL 345 


Two years ago we wrote the obituary notice of Mr. Smith, 
he having died at Marseilles, France, on the 2d of February, 

He was born in Brooklyn, New York, but when a mere 
child he removed, with his father (the late Justin Smith), to 
Rochester, in his native State, where he lived until he came 
to Indianapolis, in the fall of 1838. 

His father had purchased a large farm, with mills and dis- 
tillery, near Edinburg, in Johnson County. There he estab- 
lished a dry goods store, and the whole was managed by 
Adolphus H. Smith, a second son, while P. B. L. Smith was 
engaged in the mercantile business in this place. 

In 1844, P. B. L. Smith determined to gratify a desire, he 
had long cherished, of visiting the Continent of Europe, and, 
in the fall of that year, sailed from New York. He spent 
the winter in Paris, and the summer of 1845 in traveling over 
the Continent, and returned home in the fall of that year, his 
business being carried on, in the meantime, by his brother. 

Again, in the spring of 1851, he returned to Europe, having 
taken a partner in his business here that was interested only 
so far as the profits were concerned. About a year after he 
left, his partner sold out the establishment and a fine lucrative 
trade that Mr. Smith had been fourteen years in building up. 
His place of business will be remembered by most of the old 
citizens, as situated where Odd Fellows' Hall now stands, on 
the north-east corner of Washington and Pennsylvania streets. 

When he returned from Europe, in the fall of 1852, and 
found his business closed, he became low-spirited and did not 
seem to care for business after that, although he had abundant 
means to engage in any kind he wished. 

As there are dark hours in the history of every human 
being, when despondency and gloom reign supreme, and the 
future shrouded in melancholy; so it was with him, and he 

34G Early Ilerainiscences, 

determined to again visit Europe until his mind became tran- 
quil and again prepared for business. 

In accordance with this design, he again sailed from New 
York in April, 1856, taking with him his youngest sister, 
Justine. Little did either of them dream, as they took a last 
look at the many church spires of New York, as they receded 
from their view while the magnificent steamer was leaving the 
harbor, that he was bidding a long and last farewell to his 
native land, leaving behind nearly all that was near and dear 
to him on earth, to find a grave among strangers, and without 
the sympathetic tear of brother or sister to fall upon his 

The two years his sister remained with him, were spent 
principally in Paris. After her return to the United States 
he traversed the Continent from one end to the other, spending 
the winter seasons in Algiers. 

In the last letter one of his sisters received from him, he 
expressed a desire to once more see his native country; but 
his health was so impaired as to render it almost impossible. 

" The bome of my childhood ; methinks I can see 
Those forms that in youth were familiar to me ; 
And oft on the tablet of memory I trace 
The image enshrined of each dear loving face." 

But he has solved the problem of life, and now sleeps in 
the Protestant Cemetery at Marseilles, France. 

Previous to leaving this country the last time, he placed a 
large amount of money at interest, the income from which 
was considerably more than supported him. 

There are some men now in business in this city, on the 
high road to wealth, who did business for Mr. Smith, and 
acquired much of their business knowledge while with him ; 
among whom are William E. Featherston, who came to him 
when a boy. Also Charles Bals, who is now a prominent 
wholesale liquor dealer, on Meridian street. 

During the fifteen years residence of Mr. Smith in Europe, 

Joseph K. Sharpe. 347 

he was proficient in acquiring a knowledge of the French, 
Italian and German languages, and spoke them with the ease 
and fluency of a native. 

He was a man of fine address and agreeable manners, and 
was ever a welcome guest at the fireside of his friends and 

During his eighteen years' residence in this city, he ranked 
as a first class business man, punctual with all he had deal- 
ings with and expected them to be so with him. His word 
he valued above money. 

From 1838 to 1856 there was no name more familiar to the 
people of Indianapolis than that of P. B. L. Smith. It is 
the sincere hope of the writer that he sought and found his 
portion of that inheritance which fadeth not away. 


When I come to write of such men as the one whose name 
stands at the head of this sketch, and who have by perse- 
verance, industry and economy so successfully carved out 
their own fortune and standing in society, I am at a loss for 
language to convey to the reader a proper appreciation of 
their true worth and merit. 

Mr. Sharpe is a man of fine personal appearance, above the 
ordinary size, and in the prime of life, a smiling and genial 
countenance, with manners pleasing and captivating, and 
meets his numerous friends with a welcome recognition and 
open hands ; a pleasant word for all that either circumstances 
or business brings him in contact with. 

He was born in Windham County, Connecticut, raised on a 
farm, where he acquired the main-springs to success in life, 
i. c, industry and econom.y, without which but few succeed. 

When quite young he sought a home in the great West, his 
only fortune a good constitution, temperate habits, sterling 
integrity and a good education ; with this capital he came to 

348 Early Reminiscences, 

Indianapolis in the year 1845, although he had lived awhile 
in Illinois and a short time in Ohio. 

Mr. S. came to this place for the purpose of settling up the 
business of a boot and shoe establishment belonging to other 
parties than those who were managing it. He was not slow 
in discovering that this was a good point for business ; he 
purchased the establishment, but soon sold it out to Jacob S. 

Shortly thereafter he commenced the leather and shoe-find- 
ing business, which he has successfully carried on without 
intermission for about twenty-five years, and is now the oldest 
established house in that line in the city. 

In connection with his large commercial business in the 
city, he purchased a tannery and large tract of land in Mon- 
roe County, forty miles south of this place, hauling all his 
hides and leather from and to the city with his own teams, for 
at least ten years, and until railroads were made in that direc- 
tion, adding not a little to our home manufacture and the 
prosperity of the city. 

At this point he also established a country store, which he 
has carried on for more than fifteen years. This would seem 
to be enough business to burthen one mind with, but the 
steady growth of his central business in the city demanded 
more facilities for supplying the demand and production of 
leather. To meet this demand he has added another tannery, 
which is sixty miles north in Grant County. This establish- 
ment he has carried on several years. Nor is this all ; having 
been raised on a farm and there labored in his boyhood days, 
gave him the knowledge and ability to direct, and a taste for 

He has farmed in this county as well as in several other 
counties in the State (some of his farms being over one hun- 
dred miles apart), raising grain, hogs and cattle in large quan- 
tities for this market. 

Jacob B. McChesney. 349 

All this business he has managed in addition to his city 
business, without even apparently losing his equanimity, and 
its management and success are the natural consequence of 
great administrative talent and ability. 

He owns some fine business property as well as one of the 
fine residences of the city, the home of his family. 

It is a commonly received opinion that men who carve out 
their own fortunes become penurious, but it is the reverse in 
this case. He has ever been liberal to the poor, donating 
largely for the erection of churches and for all charitable or 
benevolent purposes. 

Mr, Sharpe is a member of the Fourth Presbyterian Church, 
one of its trustees and principal supporters. 

Nor has his good fortune and success been confined alone 
to business, he has been equally so in his domestic relations. 
He came to this place a single as well as a young man, but 
soon found one with whom he was willing to join in a lifetime 
partnership in the person of Miss Graydon, daughter of the 
late Alexander Graydon, one of our most estimable citizens. 
In this partnership I understand Mr. Sharpe found his coun- 
terpart in many respects. 

He has for years been the leader of the choir, assisted by 
his wife, in the church of which they are both acceptable 

I have noted this case more particularly than most others 
I have written of that it may be a stimulant to other young 
men " to go and do likewise." Verily "honesty and virtue 
hath its reward." 


Among the clever and unpretending gentlemen of ludian- 
apolis is Mr. McChesney, a native of the State of New Jer- 
sey, a State that has furnished this city with many of its best 
citizens. He came to this place in the year 1834. 

350 Early Meminiscences. 

He was the first Secretary of the State Sinking Fund, and 
continued as such for near thirty years, and left the oflBce only 
through the workings of political party machinery. He was 
a good and efficient official, and had almost the entire charge 
of the business. 

During his thirty-six years as a citizen of this city, by his 
urbane and gentlemanly deportment, has won the confidence 
and respect of all who know him. He is the cousin of those 
two worthy persons, of whom I have already written, James 
M. Ray and the late Joseph M. Moore. 

Mr. McChesney took an active part in the organization of 
the first Episcopal Church (Christ's), in 1837, and has since 
that time been a member and vestryman of it. 

He has three children, one a daughter, who is the wife of 
Mr. David E. Snyder, one of the leading insurance men of 
the city. His two sons are yet single and reside with their 


This venerable gentleman became a citizen of Indianapolis 
in April, 1837. He, with his family, emigrated from Fred- 
erick County, Maryland, his native State and county. 

Mr. Ohr was for several years a well known and popular 
dry goods merchant of this city, and was universally respected 
for his upright demeanor-and unostentatious piety. He has 
several children and his companion through life yet living to 
comfort him in his declining years. Aaron, the eldest son, is 
now and has been for several years one of the ticket agents at 
the Union Depot. John H. Ohr has been the principal agent 
for the Adams Express Company in this city for several years. 

Mr. Ohr's eldest daughter is the widow of the late Newton 
Norwood. The second daughter, Julia, is now deceased ; she 
was the wife of John R. Elder, who is now one of our popu- 
lar business men. 

John Carlisle, 351 

Mr. Ohr's two sons, like their father, enjoy the confidence 
of all who know them as energetic and industrious business 

Perhaps the old pioneers of this city did not think that 
they were destined to supply material to make a chapter in 
the history of Indianapolis. If their shadow had been cast 
before them, would their lives have been different? In this 
case we think not. Mr. Ohr has jogged along through life 
in the even tenor of his way, and arrived at a good old age, 
with less to disturb the peace and quiet of his mind than is 
the fortune of most mortals. 


The veteran miller of Indianapolis, was a native of the " Em- 
erald Isle," having been born in the Province of Ulster, 
county of Down, in the north of Ireland, in the year 1807. 

When in his eighteenth year (1825) he came to the United 
States, landed in the city of New York, and for twelve years 
was a successful miller at Marlborough, Ulster County, on the 
Hudson River. 

From the latter place he came to this city in the year 1837 
and engaged in the manufacture of soap and candles; at the 
same time he commenced and carried on a distillery and dairy, 
and was the first to have milk sold from a wagon in this place. 

In the year 1840 he built a large juerchant mill on the arm 
of the canal near where it crosses Washington street. It was 
at this mill he manufactured and packed in barrels the first 
flour that was manufactured in this part of the country for 
shipment. In this enterprise he was ridiculed and laughed 
at by his friends for wagoning flour to the Ohio River to sell 
at from two to three dollars per barrel. Although not profita- 
ble at first, he was building up a reputation for his flour for 
after years. 

In the year 1842 he bought wheat at twenty-five cents per 

352 Early Reminiscences. 

bushel, corn at ten cents, and sold his flour on the Ohio River 
at two dollars and seventy-five cents per barrel, corn meal in 
this city, eight bushels to the dollar, bran at five and shorts 
at ten cents per bushel, delivered in the city. 

In the years 1864 and 1865 his transactions in grain and 
flour amounted to one million of dollars, his losses being equal 
to his earnings of several years previous. When the war 
closed he was the heaviest grain and flour dealer in the West. 
He had flour on sale in all the Eastern as well as Western 
cities, and as the article fell he still continued to buy, thereby 
aiding in keeping up the prices in the West. 

When the Government took possession of the railroads to 
convey the troops home, he found it impossible to have his 
grain and flour forwarded before such time as it had fallen in 
the market to make a loss of from five to six dollars per bar- 
rel on the flour, and a corresponding loss on grain. 

He tells me that in 1866 he paid 13.25 per bushel for wheat 
and sold flour at S16.00 per barrel, the highest price ever ob- 
tained for either article in this market. 

A large grain dealer of this city once remarked that the 
farmers of this and adjoining counties should erect a monu- 
ment to his memory in consideration of the fact that he was 
the first to advance and keep up the price of grain, and would 
suff"er loss rather than do anything calculated to depress it. 

Mr. Carlisle also tells me that his great error in business 
was that of holding on too long before selling, and that had 
he bought and sold insfanfer his profits would have amounted 
to a large fortune ; his great desire was to keep up prices in 
the hands of the producers, thereby benefiting the whole 
country. He says he never failed to make money when he 
bought and sold promptly ; but he has the proud satisfaction 
of knowing that his action has benefited the whole country. 

In the years 1864 and 1865 he often bought from 25,000 
to 30,000 bushels of wheat, and from 2,000 to 3,000 barrels 

Doctor John M. Gaston. 353 

of flour in one week, paying out in cash therefor nearly one 
hundred thousand dollars, this amount going directly into the 
hands of the farming community. It is quite unnecessary to 
say that his credit was commensurate with his demands for 
money in carrying on those immense transactions. 

Although he lost very heavy, as stated here, I would not 
have the reader think for a moment that his circumstances 
were any other than affluent. He and his sons are the owners 
of two splendid merchant mills in this city, one near the canal, 
on West Market street, the other on West Maryland street. 

Out of his sixty-three years of life forty-two have been 
spent in the milling business. With this experience it is no 
wonder his brands of flour stand so high in all the eastern 
as well as western markets. 

Mr. Carlisle is a remarkably active and industrious man, 
never leaving for to-morrow that which can be done to-day. 
He is nearly always on the go ; more inclined to attend to his 
own business than that of other people. He don't seem to 
have any time to spare in idle or frivolous conversation ; al- 
though decided in his political views, he never tries to force 
them upon others. 

He has occupied his present handsome residence, on the 
corner of Washington and West streets, about thirty years. 
He has bought a greater number of bushels of grain, a larger 
number of barrels of flour, and disbursed more money among 
the farmers than any man now living in the city. In all his 
transactions he has been prompt, and he requires others to be 
so with him. Such is John Carlisle, the veteran miller of 


One of the prominent physicians of IndianapoliSj is a native 
of Pennsylvania, but, when quite young, came with his father 

354 Early Reminiscences. 

to Indiana, and settled in Hancock County. His first resi- 
dence in this city, for a short time only, was in 1833. 

About the year 1838 he returned and commenced the study 
of medicine with Doctors Sanders and Parry. After finish- 
ing his studies and attending the lectures, he entered upon 
the practice of his profession in this place, and has continued 
it since that time. Although it is said that a "prophet is 
without honor in his own country," the Doctor's success has 
proved that it is difierent with physicians, as he has ever had 
an extensive practice. He has gradually worked his way up 
the ladder until he is now near the top round, and stands 
high in his profession as well as in his boots, 

Hiram Graston, his brother, made the first buggy ever made 
in Indianapolis, in 1833. Some years afterwards, Edward 
and Hiram Gaston commenced the manufacture of carriages 
of all kinds, and successfully continued until the death of 
the latter in October, 1866. 

Edward is yet working at the business in this city. There 
were no finer carriages manufactured than at the shop of the 


Charlie tells me he has not the most remote recollection of 
ever having been born at all, although, from what he has 
heard, he supposes such an event did occur in Delaware 
County^ Ohio, and says that he there ran wild with bears and 
"Ingins" until he was large enough to behave himself in 
white society. I am sorry that the space I have allotted to 
each sketch precludes my giving his in full, in his own graphic 
and interesting style. 

He received a portion of his education at the college located 
in Granville, Licking County, in his native State. 

After receiving his education he pursued difi'ereut occupa- 
tions, such as dispensing the "elisor of life," in the shape of 

Andrew Wallace, 855 

whisky, raising silk worms, thereby destroying all the mul- 
berry trees in his neighborhood to feed them, he finally fought 
his way into the shop of a watchmaker and jeweller, of Gran- 
ville, Ohio, where he learned that business. 

Charlie came to Indianapolis in the year 1845, and engaged 
with and worked in the shop of William H. Talbott for many 
years. He then commenced and has continued business on 
his own account, and has been quite successful in the accu- 
mulation of property, and is rewarded for his industry by the 
possession of a fine suburban residence at the east end of 
Washington street, and is doing a fine business at his well 
filled store on North Meridian street. 

He has lately met with a bereavement, in the loss of his 
amiable wife, that has cast a gloom over his countenance and 
his usual buoyant and cheerful spirits. 

He enjoys the confidence and respect of his numerous 
friends and acquaintances of this city in a high degree, and 
the name of Charlie French is synonymous with that of the 
words liberality and good feeling. 


The name that heads this sketch is, perhaps, as familiar to 
the citizens of this place, as well as to the farming community 
of Marion and the surrounding counties, as that of any per- 
son now doing business in the city. 

Although not one of the oldest, he has certainly been one 
of the most successful produce dealers of his day. 

Mr. Wallace was a paper maker by trade, having learned 
the business with John Sheets, of Madison, Jefiersou County. 
He came to this place in the year 1840, in comparatively poor 
circumstances. Soon after he bought a small farm in Ham- 
ilton County and removed his family thereon ; there he re- 
mained some time, and, to accommodate his friends, Messrs. 
Sheets and Yandes, he returned to the city to take charge of 

856 Early Reminiscences, 

and superintend their paper mill, their former superintendent 
having been burned and otherwise injured to prevent his at- 
tending to the duties. Mechanics of that kind being very 
scarce at that time, Mr. Wallace consented to accommodate 
them until such time as they should be enabled to employ 

He remained with them until January, 1847, the high wa- 
ter of that year destroying the aqueduct of the canal wound 
up for the time being the manufacture of paper and his cou- 
nection with those gentlemen. 

Mr. Robert Underbill, in the meantime, having become ac- 
quainted with Mr. Wallace, and learning something of his 
untiring industry and fine business qualifications, employed 
him to take charge of his Bridgeport flouring mill, which he 
did, and managed with profit to his employer until the fall 
of 1847. It will be remembered by our old citizens that our 
merchants up to this time had not paid cash for produce, with 
the exception of pork to be driven to the Ohio River, and by 
John Carlisle for wheat, which was but a very small portion 
of the surplus of the country. 

Mr. Wallace inaugurated the present system of paying cash 
for stock and all kinds of produce in this place, and every- 
thing he laid his hand to prospered. 

He then took charge of Mr. Underhill's City Mills, Mr. 
Underbill, having the utmost confidence in his integrity, ar- 
ranged for him to draw money out of bank on his own checks 
in the transaction of business pertaining to the mill. From 
the time he took charge of Mr. Underbill's business it pros- 
pered, so that in a few years he was enabled to retire with a 

In the year 1848 he was employed by Mr. Jeremiah Foot 
as a clerk in his store. Mr. Foot wished to make as much as 
possible out of Mr. Wallace's services, and, like the person 
that killed the goose that laid the golden egg, very unwittingly 

Andreio Wallace. 357 

got himself rid of his valuable services. One very dull day 
of trade Mr. Foot requested Mr. Wallace to go into the cellar 
and saw a half cord of wood, as there was not much doing in 
the store. This Mr. W. refused to do ; he stood upon his 
dignity, and told Mr. Foot he would rather pay for the saw- 
ing out of his own pocket. 

Mr. Foot insisted on his doing it himself, as he could not 
afford to take it out of his own pocket. Mr. W. acceded to 
Mr. F.'s request, and told him that he would saw the wood, 
and wished Mr. Foot to make out his account while he was 
so doing, and that after the wood was sawed he would con- 
sider himself free from any obligation to continue in Mr. F.'s 

The sawing of that half cord of wood was, perhaps, the 
dearest Mr. F. ever paid for, as it was to Mr. Wallace time 
better employed than he had done before. 

In the fall of 1848 Mr. W. commenced the purchase of 
grain and shipping to the house of Pollys & Butler, of Madi- 
son, Indiana, and did more business in that line than all the 
other establishments of the kind in the place, often shipping 
five or six car lords per day. 

He then commenced the business of a family grocer in the 
Walpole House, a frame building, situated about the middle 
of the space between where the Odd Fellows' Hall now stands 
and the alley on the north side of Washington, between Penn- 
sylvania and Delaware streets. 

On the vacant ground east of his store, and adjoining the 
alley, was his wagon yard and salt sheds. On every board in 
the fence and every barrel of salt was branded the name of 
" Andy Wallace," much to the annoyance of his competitor, 
the late P. B. L. Smith, who then did a large business on the 
corner where Odd Fellows' Hall now stands, and was some- 
what jealous of "Andy's," at least, great show of business. 

Andy would never suffer a farm wagon to pass his door, 

358 Early Reminiscences. 

going west, until he had used every stratagem and exhausted 
all his eloquence to induce its occupants to call in at his estab- 
lishment first. Often by the time the wagon would be fairly 
stopped he would have the old lady's baby in his store sitting 
on the counter, with a stick of candy in each hand and one 
protruding from its mouth, before the mother had got out of 
the wagon. Andy, with a large stock of candy with which 
he sugar-coated the children, and a pretty wiry tongue and 
an accommodating disposition, became a great favorite with 
the farmers of the country which built him up an extensive 

His competitors in business thought that it would not take 
long to wind Andy Wallace up. This, reaching Andy's ears, 
caused him to redouble his diligence and industry, being de- 
termined to succeed or risk his all upon the trial ; like Riche- 
lieu, he thought that " there is no such word as fail." 

At this place Mr. Wallace built up a fine business and an 
extensive acquaintance throughout this and the adjoining 

In the year 1855 he engaged in the wholesale grocery busi- 
ness, which he still continues, and has a large share of the 
wholesale business for both city and country. He is a fair 
illustration of the truth of the saw^ " that some things can 
be done as well as others." 

He owns some very valuable business as well as private pro- 
perty in the city, and one of the finest and earliest cultivated 
farms in the county. 

One of the great secrets of his success was that when he 
made up his mind to do anything he did it with all his might, 
and when he thought that he had a good investment in pro- 
perty he held on to it. 

He was for eight years President of the State Institutions 
for the amelioration of the condition of the Deaf and Dumb, 
Insane and Blind, and they, like everything else he put his 

Elijah S. Akord. 359 

hands to, prospered under liis supervision. But he, like most 
other successful men, has not been free from the abuse and 
vituperation of those less successful, and he has hurled back 
the calumny upon their own heads with a redoubled force. 


Is a native of the " Old Bay State," having been born and 
raised in Greenfield, Franklin County. He came to the West 
in 1834, and for nearly two years resided in Richmond, Indi- 
ana, thence to this city in the spring of 1836. 

Mr. Alvord brought with him to this place some fifteen or 
twenty horses, and established himself in the livery business 
in the stables attached to the aWshington Hall (now Glenns' 
Block, then kept by E. Browning). He tells us that he here 
performed, personally, the labor that would require the united 
efforts of four or five hired men to accomplish, and in order 
to keep out competition in this line rented the only other 
establishment of the kind in the place and locked it up. It 
was then and there the foundation of a fortune was laid, and 
the reputation of a first-class business man was commenced. 

Mr. Alvord was among the first to start the business of a 
money broker in this place, and was quite successful as long 
as he continued it. 

He then became a partner of Messrs. J. & P. Vorhees in 
the Ohio Stage Company that owned the various lines of stages 
that centered to this place and diverged therefrom, East, "West, 
North and South. He was for years principal superintendent 
of the whole business. He then established some other lines 
throughout Illinois, Iowa and other Western States, and finally 
a line across the plains to the Pacific coast. He is now Pres- 
ident of the Western Stage Company ; President, and a large 
stockholder in the Citizens' line of Street Railways of this 
city. He is, also, one of the founders of the Rink, its 
President, and a large stockholder. This popular place of 

360 Early Reminiscences. 

amusement was the first of the kind in the State. As I said 
before, he is a fine business man, energetic and industrious, 
and his indomitable perseverance has been rewarded with a 
large share of this world's goods. 

He possesses great firmness and decision of character, and 
a stand once taken it is difficult to remove him from it. Al- 
though a citizen of this city for the past thirty-four years, he 
has never sought or asked for office at the hands of the peo- 
ple or any other appointing power. 

During the existence of that party he was a warm and en 
thusiastic Whig, but when it was disbanded, with many others 
of his political associates, fell in with and supports the Demo- 
cratic party. 

He was, by the State Convention that assembled in this city 
on the 8th of January, 1870, unanimously chosen Chairman 
of the State Central Committee of the Democracy of Indiana, 
which position he has filled thus far to the entire satisfaction 
of his associates and with credit and honor to himself. 

Mr. Alvord owns and lives in one of the palatial mansions 
of the city, on North Pennsylvania street. He owns a fine 
business house on South Meridian street, known as Alvord's 
Block, and other valuable property in the city, both improved 
and unimproved. 

Mr. Alvord is a man of good address, courteous and genial 
in his intercourse with others. Although he has passed the 
noon-day of life, he looks quite young, and bids fair for many 
years of enjoyment in the society of his family and friends, 
and usefulness to the public. 


Was a native of the State of New Jersey. He came to Ohio 
in the year 1832, remaining in that State about a year. He 
came to Huntington, in Indiana, in the year 1833, and en- 
gaged to complete four sections of the Wabash and Erie Ca- 

John Bark. 361 

nal. About the time of the completion of this contract, he 
was elected to represent, in the Legislature, the counties of 
Huntington, Wells, Jay, Blackford and Adams, He made 
an efficient and working member, just such a man as that new 
and sparsely settled country needed at that time. 

In the fall of 1836 he contracted for building the " feeder 
dam " at Broad Ripple, seven miles north of this city. He 
then undertook other important contracts on the Central Ca- 
nal, and while they were in progress, and before completion, 
the general and gigantic system of internal improvements by 
the State was abandoned for the want of the necessary funds 
to finish them. 

While a contractor Mr, Burk frequently worked from eighty 
to one hundred men at a time, a large proportion of whom 
were Irish, and they would frequently have riots and quarrels 
among themselves growing out of their own religious or po- 
litical opinions in their native land. During these periodical 
ebullitions of wrath, and often violence, Mr. Burk exercised 
great influence over them, and often prevented bloodshed and 
death among them. 

Hands working on public works were influenced in the se- 
lection of the contractor they would work for by the number 
of "jiggers" he would give them per day. By jiggers was 
meant a small cup of whisky, say about a gill ; they had cups 
made on purpose for this use. 

About the second question asked by the applicant for work 
was, " how many jiggers do you give ?" Mr. Burk tells me 
that the number he gave was seven, although some contrac- 
tors gave eight or nine. 

After the public works were abandoned he built a large 
flouring and saw mill at Broad Hippie, and with his family 
there resided for several years. 

During Mr. B.'s residence at Broad Ripple one of the citi- 
zens of the village (Bob Earl) built a flat-bottom tanal boat 

3G2 Early Meminiscences. 

and at the susrgestion of Mr. Burk called it David Burr, in 
honor of the Commissioner of the Wabash and Erie Canal. 
There are many persons yet living in the city that have had 
the pleasure of a trip to and from Broad Ripple in Mr. Earl's 
boat. I remember, very well, that in the summer of 1844, 
and during the canvass for President between Henry Clay and 
James K. Polk, Mr. Earl was employed to take a fishing party 
to the Ripple on his boat. One of our respectable citizens 
(referred to in another sketch) getting very much excited 
while talking with a political opponent, unthoughtedly made 
a back step and went into the canal where it was ten or twelve 
feet water. This cooled the gentleman's political ardor for 
the balance of the day, although he was kept quite warm by 
the laughs and jeers of his friends. 

I have digressed to give this little incident. Mr. Burk was 
active in getting up and forwarding the interest of the Indian- 
apolis and Peru Railroad, negotiated in New York for its 
first loan, was its first President, and continued as such until 
the road was finished and became prosperous. 

He was the first coal dealer in this city, was the first to 
open and develop the coal mines of Clay County, from which 
a large quantity that is now used for manufacturing purposes 
in this city is derived. 

At Mr. B.'s old residence at Broad Ripple may now be seen 
a large willow tree, two feet in diameter, which, he tells me, 
sprung from a twig, cut for and used all day as a riding 
switch in 1843, then he stuck it in a marsh or wet piece of 
ground, where it took root and has grown since that time to 
its present proportions. 

Mr. Burk was, in the palmy days of that party, an ardent 
Whig of the old school, and supported the Hero of Tippeca- 
noe for the Presidency in 1836 and that ever-memorable year 
of 1840. He gives an interesting account of a visit that him- 

James H. McKernan. 263 

self and family made to the old Hero in 1840, at his resi- 
dence at North Bend. 

I would have been happy to have finished this short tribute 
to Mr. B.'s many virtues and noble traits of character with- 
out referring to anything of an unpleasant or painful nature, 
" but such is life" that we often sip from the same cup the 
bitter as well as the sweet. 

On the 28th of October, 1868, at the age of seventy-two 
years, Mr. Burk, while attending to the receiving of cars 
loaded with coal, was, in some way, caught between two cars 
and had his left leg crushed in such a way as rendered ampu- 
tation necessary ; but at this writing he has so far recovered 
as to be able, with the use of a crutch, to attend to his ordi- 
nary business. 


One of the most enterprising and business men of Indianap- 
olis, was born at New Castle (not upon Tyne, where the wor- 
thy apothecary practiced the healing art), but upon the banks 
of the Delaware. 

When he first came to Indiana, in 1842, he was engaged for 
a short time in the foundry business at Lafayette. 

He made this city his home in the year 1845, and was soon 
recognized as one of the true business men of the place, and 
since which time he has engaged in various enterprises. In 
1853 he engaged in the real estate business, more as a hona 
fide purchaser and seller than as an agent. 

Since he first began dealing in real estate he has built about 
five hundred tenements of difi'erent kinds ; indeed, near one- 
half of the houses in the Fifth Ward were built, or caused to 
be, by him, or with his means. 

True, some of those houses were not as large as the Acad- 
emy of Music, or as elaborate in design ; yet they furnished 
what was demanded by the growth of the city, comfortable 

364 Early Reminiscences, 

and cheap homes for the laborers and mechanics, and within 
their reach as purchasers or tenants. 

During the war he sold many of those houses on credit and 
at easy payments. After money became scarce, and the labo- 
rers were thrown out of employment, those payments could 
not be made. Mr. McKernan had it in his power to foreclose 
the mortgages and buy the property for much less than was 
due him on them, instead of which he took the property back, 
canceled the notes, and gave the purchasers other property 
corresponding in value to the amount they had paid. Such 
acts of generosity are so refreshing, we must be permitted to 
refer to them when they occur. 

The most of those houses west of the canal are yet owned 
by him, many of which are occupied by poor and non-paying 

He pays taxes on one hundred and forty-seven thousand 
one hundred and seventy-five dollars' worth of property in 
the city. I was shown his tax list making seventy pages. 

He is, at this time, engaged near St. Louis in manufactur- 
ing iron, the ore of which is brought from Iron Mountain, 
Missouri ; the coal used is procured at Big Muddy Mines, in 
Jackson County, Illinois. When this enterprise was first un- 
dertaken various were the predictions of its failure ; but since 
it has proved a success two or three millions have been in- 
vested in it by other parties. 

Although Mr. McKernan is past the meridian of life, there 
seems to be no abatement in his energy and industry since I 
first knew him, over a quarter of a century ago. 

When we first made his acquaintance he was a member of 
the old National Whig party, but, like many others, when 
that party was disbanded, after the defeat of General Scott in 
1852, fell in with and supported the Democratic party, but he 
still adheres with tenacity to many of the sound and whole- 
some doctrines of that good old national party. 

James H. McKernan. 3G5 

In benevolence and kindness to the poor he, as well as his 
amiable wife, allow none to surpass them. They never stop 
to inquire what caused distress and misery, or to what church 
or country the applicant ibr relief belongs, but what can we 
do to alleviate your suffering or better your condition, is all 
the inquiry they make. 

In their social relations they are equally hospitable, ever 
glad to meet and entertain at their house their numerous 
friends and acquaintances. 

Mr. McKernau has several children yet living. His eldest 
son, David, is married, and a resident of the city. Their only 
daughter. Belle, who was the idol of their affections, has re- 
cently deceased and left a vacancy in their hearts that never 
can be filled this side of the grave. 

Since the above was written, we have been shown a most 
valuable invention of Mr. McKernan's, and of which I deem 
it proper to mention in this sketch. 

The sudden and untimely death of John L. Ketcham, in 
April 18G9, by falling through a hatchway, and which cast 
such a gloom over this entire community, made such an im- 
pression and weighed so heavy upon the mind of 31r. McKer- 
nan, that for several nights after the sad occurrence he could 
scarcely sleep. 

He then put his inventive genius to work to see if he could 
not contrive something that would in the future prevent the 
recurrence of so dire a calamity. 

In the wish to accomplish this great object he was not in- 
fluenced by mercenary or pecuniary considerations, but solely 
u desire to benefit his fellow man, although the most valu- 
able improvements and inventions of the age have been brought 
about by such motives, utility being a secondary considera- 

Mr. McKernan has succeeded beyond his most sanguine 
expectations, and has an invention that will close the hati-h 

366 Early Reminiscences. 

and stairways, windows and doors of a five -story building in 
two minutes, which, in case of* fire, would stop the flames aris- 
ing from the most combustible material within its walls, there- 
by saving the loss of property, which is secondary only to 

The utility of this invention has been tested and demon- 
strated to the entire satisfaction of all who witnessed it at the 
Masonic Hall on the 18th of May, 1870. 


General Superintendent of the " State Fair " and fair grounds, 
is a plain, off-hand kind of man, with a stern independence 
and a lofty resolve about him, with a quick perceptibility of 
the right, and peculiarly fitted for and adapted to the place 
he fills with such signal ability. He is proprietor of a first- 
class livery stable, and is considered by horsemen generally 
as one of the best judges of that noble animal in the city, if 
not the State, and understands the modus operandi of their 
training to perfection. 

He has been connected with the State fairs since 185-4, and 
the admirable arrangement of the grounds, and distribution 
and assignment of each particular branch of industry and 
agriculture to its proper place, and arrangement of stock for 
exhibition, is attributable to his sound judgment in that par- 
ticular branch of business. 

Mr. S. is blessed with the peculiar faculty of knowing men 
at first sight, and reads them as they come along with an apt- 
ness and certainty as he could the bad or good points of a 

In the strict sense of the word, and as I generally use the 
term, he is not an " old settler." He came to Indianapolis 
in 1848, when it was but a small town and he quite young. 
His connection with the fairs has made him well known 
throughout the State as well as in the city. 

John B. SuUican. 36? 

His kind and jovial manners and disposition has won him 
a host of friends ; and when a person once makes the acquaint- 
ance of John B. Sullivan he will hardly ever forget him. 

John B. Sullivan was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and in- 
herits many traits of character peculiar to Southern people. 
He is liberal in his opinions as well as with his means, and 
possesses the faculty of making friends for himself of those 
that circumstances or business brings him in contact with. 

Although the writer has not known him very long, yet quite 
long enough to learn the truth of this brief tribute to the 
many good qualities of his head and heart. 

He was the personal friend of the late Caleb J. McXulty, 
of Ohio, and helped to perform the last sad rites to his mor- 
tal remains. They both belonged to Company B, Second Ohio 
Regiment of Volunteers, commanded by Col. George W. Mor- 
gan, during the Mexican war. 

This Regiment left Cincinnati about the 12th of July, 1846, 
on board the steamer Jamestown. When opposite Plumb 
Point, on the Mississippi, Mr. McNulty died, and was buried 
by his comrades at Helena, Arkansas. Mr. Sullivan there 
procured the services of a minister and had the burial service 
read at the grave. 

I have digressed from my subject to speak of the eloquent 
and talented McNulty, who was at one time a member of Con- 
gress from one of the Ohio districts, and afterwards chief 
clerk of the House of Representatives. Who that remembers 
the Presidential campaign in Ohio in 1844 can forget him? 

In that lonely grave yard at Helena, Arkansas, on the banks 
of " the Father of Waters," sleeps all that was earthly of the 
eloquent speaker, the fast friend and devoted patriot, Caleb 
J. McNulty. 

The deep respect, mingled with tenderness and admiration 
Mr. Sullivan entertained for him, caused a natural despond- 

368 Early Reminiscences ^ 

ency of feeling in his bosom when he thought of the gulf 
that separated him from his friend. Though after the first 
burst of sorrow was over he turned to his companions to look 
in vain for one to whom he was so devotedly attached, but for 
a long time the blank was unfilled, as our feelings are often 
tardy in accommodating themselves to the inevitable decrees 
of Providence. 


When I come to write of Mr Wallace, I am at a loss what 
language to employ to convey to the reader a proper appreci- 
ation of his true character, and his many good qualities and 
great kindness of heart. 

He was born in the county of Donagal, Ireland, in March, 
1814, although by his language and dialect you would not for 
a moment suppose he had ever seen the " Green Isle." 

With his parents he came to the United States when but a 
mere boy, and settled at Madison, in Jefi'erson County, Indi- 
ana, and learned the paper-making business with Mr. John 
Sheets (now deceased), brother of our esteemed citizen Wil- 
liam Sheets. 

He continued a citizen of Madison and Jefi'erson County 
until his removal to this city in 1850 ; he was, for awhile, the 
deputy sheriff" of that county. 

Since his residence in Indianapolis he has been Mayor of 
the city, and sheriff" of Marion County, both of those duties 
he discharged with credit to himself and to the entire satis- 
faction of his numerous friends of both political parties. I 
am told, that although a warm partisan, politics was never 
known to enter into his oflficial duties. 

In writing this short tribute to Mr. Wallace's rare qualities 
of kindness and goodness of heart, I can discharge but a very 

William John Wallace. 369 

small portion of a debt of gratitude I owe him for a recent 
act of disinterested kindness. 

He did not stop to doubt a just and righteous cause, but 
said "go ahead, I'll stand by you and see you righted;" he 
did not stop to ask foolish or frivolous questions, but " what 
can I do to assist you?" He is an ofif-hand kind of man, and 
would stake his life on a true principle. 

In politics he has ever been an earnest and consistent Whig, 
always acted upon conservative principles, and advocated with 
great zeal and all his ability (which is uncommon for a person 
of his advantages) its cardinal measures. 

During the war he was a warm Union man, and contributed 
liberally of his means, and time without stint, to " make trea- 
son odious," and never tired in doing what he thought was for 
the benefit of the Government and safety of the country of 
his adoption. 

Since the war he imagined and thought he saw corruption 
growing and thrusting its " hydra head " into his favorite 
party, and he at once took a decided stand against it ; and 
when he saw he could not reform it, cast his votes for such 
persons as he thought were capable and honest, and would 
frown down anything like intrigue or dishonesty either in city, 
State, or the United States Government. He possesses in a 
high degree 

"The will to do, the soul to dare," 

to oppose anything, in any man or party, that he thinks is not 
for the interest of the people at large. 

In his political opinions he is very liberal, asking nothing 
for himself he is unwilling to concede to others; indeed, he 
asks nothing but what is right, and will submit to nothing 

He is what is called the noblest work of God — an honest 
man — and a devoted and loving husband, a kind and indul- 
gent father, a steadfast friend, a genial and social gentleman, 

370 Early Beminiscences. 

an upright business man, and the poor and laboring man's 

He is possessed of a large share of native talent, and advo- 
cates his views with an earnestness and feeling that never fails 
to convince his auditors that he is honest in their advocacy, 
and believes and acts upon what he says. Such is William 
John Wallace. 


Among the prominent and active business men of Indian- 
apolis is the gentleman whose name heads this sketch. He 
came to this place, in the year 1849, from Cleveland, Ohio, 
and engaged in the manufacture of tin and sheet iron ware ; 
and when the gas works went into operation he added that of 
gas fitting. 

He is at this time extensively engaged in the wholesale tin 
plate, copper, sheet brass, sheet iron, Russia iron, sheet zinc, 
antimony, japanned and pressed tin ware, block tin rivets, iron, 
copper and brass wire, lead pipe, sheet lead, rubber hose, tin- 
ner's tools, brass work, iron pumps, and is also the Western 
agent for the sale of gas pipe. 

For several years Mr. Cottrell has represented his (the Sev- 
enth) Ward in the Common Council of the city, and has done 
a great deal in exposing corruption whenever it was found 
rearing its hydra head in the municipal government. 

He is a wiry, energetic and persevering man, and whatso- 
ever his hands findeth to do he does with might and main. 

He has, in connection with his partner, Mr. Knight, just 
finished a splendid business block on East Washington street, 
in which is a large public hall, known as that of Cottrell & 
Knight's. This hall and several of the adjoining rooms have 
just been leased to the city for a court room and city ofl&ces. 

Mr. Cottrell possesses business talent of a high order, and 
ranks as a first-class business man ; he has been successful, 

John a New, 371 

and is now considered one of the wealthy men of Indian- 

Soon after he came to this city he was married to the sec- 
ond daughter of the late Samuel Goldsberry. 


Is a native of Indiana, born in Jennings County July 0th, 
1831. He has continued to reside in the State since his birth, 
with the exception of four years spent at college in Virginia, 
where he graduated, and received his degree in 1851. 

Upon his return to this city he commenced the study of law 
in the office of Governor David Wallace, and was admitted to 
the bar in 1852. 

In January, 1853, he accepted the position of principal dep- 
uty in the County Clerk's office, wnder William Stewart, and 
remained as such until the death of Mr. Stewart in November, 
1856, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy, and in 1857 
was elected for a full term, serving until 18G1. 

In May, 1862, he was appointed by Governor iMorton Quar- 
termaster General of the State, and held the office until the 
fall of that year when he resigned, having been elected a mem- 
ber of the Senate from this (Marion) County. 

In January, 1865, he was appointed cashier of the First 
National Bank of Indianapolis, which position he still holds. 

Mr. New is one among the most enterprising and business 
men of Indianapolis, and is possessed of some fine property, 
both business and private, and is considered one of the relia- 
ble men of the city; he is yet quite young for one having held 
so many responsible positions as he has. 

He is a gentleman of fine personal appearance and address, 
genial manners, and possessed of a great deal of general in- 
formation, quick to discover the difference between a good or 
bad baruain when offered hiui. 

372 Early Htminiscences. 

He scorns anythiDg like duplicity or dissimulation in his 
business transactions, and is quick to discover it in others, 
which fact qualifies him in an eminent degree for the respon- 
sible position he now holds. The people of Indianapolis 
might well be proud to have as citizens " a few more of the 
same sort." 


Who has been a citizen of this city about twenty-five years, 
was born in Philadelphia, but at the age of ten years emigra- 
ted with his father's family to Ohio, and there resided until 
he came to this place, in the year 1845. 

He married the niece of the late Jerry Collins of this 
place and inherited a portion of the property left by the man 
who dug the grave of the first man buried in the old grave 
yard, in August, 1821. 

Mr. Gold is now engaged in the family grocery business, 
near the White River Bridge, at the west end of Washington 


Was the first to start the manufacture of edge tools in this 
place. He was born in Oswego, New York ; for a short time 
he lived in Dayton, Ohio, and came to this place in 1846 and 
commenced the manufacture of all kinds of edge tools, which 
business he yet continues at his old stand at the west end of 
Washington street. Shortly after making this place his resi- 
dence he was married to the daughter of Nathaniel Cox, a 
man well known for his eccentricities, and one of the pioneers 
of this place. 


The first optician to make Indianapolis his home, although 
there had been several itinerants of that profession to visit 

Charles Mayer. 373 

the place, but did not tarry long at a time, as their visits were 
before the people had been educated up to the use of a first 
rate article in their line, and such as Mr. Moses furnishes to 
them now. 

Mr. Moses is a native of New England, born and raised in 
Hartford, Connecticut, a State that is charged with the manu- 
facture of wooden hams and nutmegs. Although this charge 
may be true, Mr. M. has never yet been charged with making 
leather spectacles. 

He came to this city in the year 1856, and has here resided 
since that time, and become as popular with his neighbors as 
his optics have with the public throughout the West. 

He has manufactured, directly under his own supervision, 
all the first class articles in that line he sells, and there is a 
great demand for them in nearly all the Western States. I 
have seen them far in the interior of Illinois, that had been 
ordered from him in this place. 

Indeed out there, on people's noses, 
Are prominent the specs of Moses. 


Who is it that has lived in Indianapolis for the last thirty 
years but knows Charlie Mayer! What stranger that visited 
the place with the intention of purchasing something for the 
little ones at home, but have been referred to him ! 

Among the juvenile portion of this city, for the time above 
referred to, when they received a present of a dime or a quar- 
ter, the first name in their mouth would be Charlie Mayer. 

He started with a few dozen ginger cakes, a jar or two of 
candy, and a keg of beer, and, as his capital would permit, he 
would add a few toys, until now he has one of the largest 
establishments of the kind in the West, and I doubt if a more 
general assortment than he keeps can be found in the Union. 
In his store is found everything that either fancy or necessity 

374 Early Reminiscences. 

might desire. His store extends from the street to the alley, 
one hundred and ninety-five feet, three stories hijjh, and is 
crowded with goods from cellar to attic. He employs seven 
or eight clerks, and he tells me that it keeps him busy to do 
the correspondence of the establishment. 

Charlie is a native of Wurtemberg, one of the German 
States, and brought to this country with him that persever- 
ance and industry peculiar to his countrymen. In him we 
have an illustration of what sterling integrity, business habits 
and industry will accomplish. He is now one of the wealthy 
men of Indianapolis. 

" Nothing is difBcult beneath the slcy, 
Man only fails because he fails to try." 


It is a very difficult matter to find a starting point to give 
the reader a true appreciation of the character of Mr. Achey, 
his many peculiarities, eccentricities and great versatility. 

His person was short, rotund in form, with short legs in- 
clined to bow; his whole contour was indicative of wit and 
humor. He was an American citizen of German descent, 
1 aving been born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsyl- 

He was well known throughout the States of Ohio and In- 
diana as a popular hotel keeper. He had kept tavern in sev- 
eral towns and villages in Ohio. He came to Indianapolis 
early in 1852, and for several years kept the " Wright House," 
now transformed into Glenns' Block, where the New York 
Store is kept. 

Mr. Achey always kept a first-class house, and but few ever 
stopped with him that would not call again, not only on ac- 
count of his superior accommodations, but he possessed the 
faculty of making all feel at home under his roof, with his 
great fund of anecdotes, with which he would amuse his guests. 

Henry Achey. 375 

He had a smile for all, a frown for none. lie seemed to think 
there was more of sunshine than shade in the lot of man ; 
however, he looked on the bright side, and cast oflF dull care. 

There are many anecdotes of him extant, as well as those 
he told ; his peculiar manner of telling them, and suiting his 
actions to the words, none ever saw that can forget; his way 
of drawing up his face and distorting his features, and the 
fact that he never smiled while relating his stories, was re- 

After having kept hotel in several different places in Ohio, 
he took the Gait House at Cincinnati. It was arranged be- 
tween him and his predecessor that he should take possession 
on Saturday evening after supper, at which time the boarders 
generally paid their week's board in advance. The old pro- 
prietor told him that his boarders had been very prompt, with 
one exception, and that he had not paid any board for six 
months ; that he did not like to turn him off, lest he should 
lose what he already owed him, and pointed out the person 
to whom he alluded to Mr. Achey. 

After the several boarders had paid their bills, this gentle- 
man stepped up to the office and addressed Mr. Achey in this 

" I believe you are the gentleman that proposes keeping 
this house?' 

" Yes," was the reply, " that's my intention." 

" Your name is Achey, I believe?" 

"Achey is my name," was the answer. 

"Henry Achey, I think?" 

" Yes, Henry Achey." 

"You once kept tavern at Dayton?" 

" Yes, I kept at Dayton." 

" Then at Middleton ? Then, I think, at Hamilton ?" 

" Yes, I kept at both those places." 

" Last I believe you kept Sportsman's Hall near this city?" 

376 Early Reminiscences. 

" Yes, I kept Sportsman's Hall for awhile." 

" Now, you are here. You are a kind of traveling or itin- 
erant hotel keeper." 

" Yes, I have moved around considerably," was the answer. 

" Now, Mr. Achey," said the boarder, " if I should pay 
you a week's board in advance, what assurance have I that 
you will be here a week hence?" 

Mr. Achey acknowledged the force of the gentleman's re-- 
mark by handing him a receipt for the week's board, and in- 
viting him up to the bar. 

While Mr. Achey kept the Gait House an old friend, a dro- 
ver, put up with him ; he had several hands that had assisted 
him with his stock that also stopped at the Gait. During the 
evening one of those men had bought at auction a cheap fid- 
dle, and was seated by the stove in the office drawing from 
the bowels of the machine a very doleful, and, to Mr. Achey, 
disagreeable noise ; how to get rid of the annoyance without 
oflfending the man he did not know; at last he hit upon this 
expedient. Said Mr. Achey to his clerk, " Dan, I wish to get 
rid of that noise, how will we do it?" Without waiting for 
any suggestion from his clerk, he said, "I have it, we will 
talk here a few moments in a loud and angry manner as though 
quarreling, and then I will go out by the stove and get within 
reach of the fiddle ; then you come out and renew the quarrel, 
and I will snatch the fiddle from his hand and break it over 
your head ; mind, Dan, and keep on your hat." 

At the preconcerted time Mr. Achey took a position by the 
stove, and within easy grab of the fiddle. Dan came out from 
behind the counter and renewed the quarrel. 

"Mr Achey," said Dan, " you are certainly mistaken." "I 
am not," said Mr. Achey, "and I do not wish you to say so 
again in my presence." "You tell a falsehood," said Dan. 
^Simultaneous with the word falsehood went the crash of the 
fiddle over Dan's head. 

Henry Ac/wj. 377 

" Now," said the fellow, " you've broke my fiddle." " Yes," 
was the reply, "and I have broke his head." 

The matter was adjusted the next morning between Mr. 
Achey and his guest, by Mr. Achey's paying the price of the 
fiddle, one dollar and twenty-five cents. 

On one occasion Mr. Achey had purchased a large number 
of horses for a distant market, and had lost heavily on them. 
On his return home his wife inquired of him how he had made 
out. "Out, out," said he; "all out, horses, money and all." 
Mrs. Achey was fretting over his loss. "Shut up, shut up," 
said he ; " when you married me you married a man, and if 
you will only hold on to my coat-tail I'll take you through 
the world flying." 

That the ruling passion is strong in death has been exem- 
plified in his case. A few days before his death an old friend 
called to see him. During their conversation his friend let 
him know that he had learned that he had joined the church. 
"Yes," said Mr. Achey, "Sam I have joined the church, the 
Methodist Church. My reason for selecting that church was 
the fact that I have persecuted them more than any other, 
and this would be the last opportunity I would have of mak- 
ing due reparation." 

A few days after this, which was in the winter of 1865-G6, 
he died a firm believer in the Christian religian, a regenera- 
tion of his heart, and the forgiveness of his sins. 

Mr. Achey possessed many fine traits of character, hospit- 
able and liberal to a fault. He was a man of fair political 
information, and died, I believe, without an enemy. His death 
was regretted by many personal friends and his fiimily, who 
were devotedly attached to him. His wife and two children 
are still residents of this city. 


378 Early Reminiscences. 


This jolly, good-natured gentleman, as his very appearance 
indicates, has been one of the successful business men of In- 
dianapolis for the last eighteen years. 

Mr. Davis is a native of Boston, Massachusetts, but came to 
Cincinnati, Ohio, when a mere child, and there lived until 
1852, ■when, with his family and but little else, he came to 
this city. 

A short time after his arrival here he was preparing to erect 
a brass foundry in a densely populated part of the city, but 
was stopped by the Common Council, as they had made the 
discovery, or been informed, that brass foundries were explo- 
sive, and compelled Mr. D. to seek another location. 

The present city authorities are not so fearful of a brass 
foundry, as he is erecting one at this time that fronts on two 
of our business streets. 

Mr. Davis was the first engineer of our steam fire engines, 
and for many years managed them successfully and to the sat- 
isfaction of all who had property exposed to the devouring 

He has represented difi'erent Wards in the Council, made a 
good and eflScient member, ever watching the interest of his 
constituents, and ready to expose and put down corruption 
when and wherever found. 

He has accumulated property, and now ranks as a first-class 
business man, and is universally respected for his urbanity of 
manners and strict honesty and integrity. 


Is a native of the Emerald Isle, having been born in Thurles, 
Tipperary County, and with his mother's family came to the 
United States in 1842 and settled near Washington, Daviess 
County, where they farmed for about five years. 

James B. Ryan. 379 

From the latter place he went to Edinburgh, in Johnson 
County, where he engaged in merchandising for three years ; 
from there he came to Indianapolis, in the year 1850, and en- 
gaged as a clerk in the store of the late P. B. L. Smith, then 
located on the northeast corner of Pennsylvania and Wash- 
ington streets, and continued with Mr. Smith until that estab- 
lishment was sold to C. C. Elliott & Bro. He remained with 
the latter firm until after the death of the senior partner. 

He then, in connection with Calvin A. Elliott, continued 
the business under the Masonic Hall until they built their 
business house on the northwest corner of Meridian and Ma- 
ryland streets in 1854, and where Mr. Ryan yet carries on 

He has been connected with this house in all its changes 
for twenty years, and to judge from his present health, energy 
and industry, bids fair to remain for twenty more. 

Mr. Ryan is a nephew of the late P. M. Brett, of Daviess 
County, who was its first Auditor, a man of learning and cul- 
ture. Although having lived in Indianapolis twenty years, 
Mr. Ryan yet claims to be a citizen of the "Pocket," as that 
was his first home in the United States, and many of his rela- 
tives yet reside in that portion of the State. 

His first wife was the daughter of the late Judge John 
Smiley, who was the first white man that settled in Johnson 
County, and its first sheriff; he was, also, the first to repre- 
sent, in the Legislature, the district composed of the counties 
of Johnson, Shelby and Bartholomew. The father and daugh- 
ter both sleep in the family burial ground at Edinburgh. 

Mr. Ryan was nominated by the State Democratic Conven- 
tion three successive times as its candidate for Treasurer of 
State, I. e., 1866-68-70. 

He is a business man in the full sense of the word, but al- 
ways finds time to keep himself well and correctly posted in 
political matters, and when before the people makes it a lively 

380 Early Reminiscences. 

and speech-making canvass, and like his lamented brother, 
the late Richard J. Ryan, possesses the happy faculty of hold- 
ino- his audience spell-bound while he is speaking. 

He is a man of sterling integrity, whose word is considered 
as good as his bond, and he possesses many other fine traits 
of character, which makes it necessary to be personally ac- 
quainted with him to be properly appreciated. 


Who is one of our prosperous business men, came to this 
place in the year 1839. He is of Teutonic birth, and inher- 
its the peculiar traits of his countrymen. 

Charlie was not only poor when he first came to this city, 
but he owed in the old country a debt of one hundred and 
thirty dollars, which he was in honor bound and must pay 
before he could lay by anything in this country. 

He was first employed by one of our respectable citizens 
as a man of all work at five dollars per month, and then for 
a short time by West & Meeker delivering flour from their 
mills to their customers in this city. 

In the fall of 1847 he was engaged in the wholesale liquor 
establishment of the late P. B. L. Smith, and there remained 
nine years, and acquired a thorough knowledge of the recti- 
fying and wholesale liquor business, which knowledge has 
proved to be of incalculable value to him since. 

Soon after leaving Mr. Smith's establishment he engaged 
in business on his own account, since which time he has been 
successful, and is now a partner in the house of Hahn & Bals, 
one of the large and popular wholesale houses of the city. 

Charlie arrived at the conclusion that many others had, i. e., 
that he lost a large amount of money by not having a greater 
amount of whisky on hand at the time the tax of two dollars 
per gallon was ordered to be levied on that afterwards manu- 

Aquilla Jones. 381 

The senior partner of this establishment, Mr. Charles F. 
llahn, is also from the old country, but a citizen of this city 
since 1849, and has been engaged in active business since that 
time. Mr. Hahn is now engaged in building, on South Me- 
ridian street, a fine business house, to be occupied by them as 
a store. This building will rank with any other house of that 
kind in the city. 


Prominent among the active business men of Indianapolis 
is the gentleman whose name stands above. Mr. Jones is a 
native of North Carolina, came to Indiana in the year 1831, 
and resided in Columbus, Bartholomew County, until he was 
elected Treasurer of State in 1857 and removed to this city. 

Since Mr. J. has been a citizen of this place he has engaged 
in many public as well as private enterprises. 

He was for sometime a leading wholesale grocer on South 
Meridian street, but has now retired from that business. 

As a State officer he was efficient, never jeopardizing the 
public money in private speculation, like most officials (how- 
ever honest in their private transactions) are inclined to do. 

He is at this time the Treasurer of the Rolling Mill Com- 
pany, and also the Gatling Gun Company, positions that he 
is peculiarly fitted for, as he is well known to possess (as his 
success in life will prove) financial abilities of the first order. 

He married the daughter of John W. Cox, who was for 
many years a leading politician of Morgan County. We re- 
member seeing him in the Senate from that county during the 
Presidency of General Jackson, and the old hero had not a 
warmer or more steadftist friend in that body. 

Mr. Jones' only daughter is the wife of H. C. Holloway (a 
brother to the present Postmaster of this city), and is the 
Chief Clerk in the Money Order Department of the Post 

382 Early Iteminiscences. 

. His oldest son, bearing the name of the father, is in active 
business, and inherits, to some extent, the business qualifica- 
tions of his father. 


Is a native of the Key Stone State, having been born in 
the town of Zeallia Nople, Butler County. His parents died 
when he was quite young, and he was thrown entirely upon 
his own resources to procure an education ; but with an en- 
ergy and earnestness that generally is rewarded with success, 
he received an education that qualified him for the study of 
the profession to which he is now an honor. 

He is a graduate of the Ohio Medical College, He came 
to Indiana about the year 1836, and has been a citizen of the 
State since that time, except six years that he practiced his 
profession in St. Charles, Missouri. 

He has resided in this city during the last twenty-three 
years, actively engaged in the duties of his profession. 

He was appointed Brigade Surgeon, at the commencement 
of the war, by President Lincoln, at the instance of Governor 
Morton, and was attached to the armies of McClelland and 
Pope in their campaign through Virginia. 

He resigned this position, by reason of failing health, soon 
after the battle of Antietam. 

Since his residence in Indianapolis Doctor Thompson has 
held several offices of honor and responsibility, if not of emol- 

He was chosen Councilman of the Third Ward, and, after 
serving several years as such, he resigned, and without solici- 
tation on his paTt, was nominated by the Bepublican party 
for, and triumphantly elected to represent the county in the 
State Senate. This office he filled with credit to himself and 
to the entire satisfaction of his constitutents of all parties. 

Since his long residence in this city Doctor Thompson has 

Hon, David Macy. 383 

ever sustained an unblemished character for honesty and in- 
tegrity, and a high reputation as a skillful and successful phy- 

He is a decided character, whose instincts and impulses are 
all with the right. He has enjoyed the confidence and friend- 
ship of all the Governors of the State from Joseph A. Wright 
to His Excellency Governor Baker, and has been their family 

He has, from his earliest years, had no parents to demand 
his regard, further than his respect for their memory and re- 
grets for their loss, and no one but strangers to supply their 
place ; with his genial manners he gained many friends, and 
he has a way of mixing his good feelings with his many jokes, 
which interests his auditors. 

He is still actively engaged in the practice of medicine, and- 
has by economy, industry and honesty acquired a considera- 
ble fortune for himself and family, and the sincere wish of 
the writer is that he may live long to enjoy the fruits of his 
labor, the society of his family and friends, and be, as he ever 
has been, of usefulness to the public. 


Now one of the prominent men of Indianapolis, is a native 
of North Carolina, but when a boy came with his parents to 
Wayne County, Indiana, thence to Newcastle, Henry County, 
where he successfully practiced law for several years, and rep- 
resented that county three years in the State Legislature. 

From Newcastle he removed to Lawrenceburgh and became 
the law partner of Judge Major ; this (Dearborn) County he 
also represented one year in the State Legislature. 

Mr. Macy was induced to leave Lawrenceburgh in conse- 
quence of the too great water privileges of that city, he, not 
being amphibious, preferred a dry land residence. 

He became a resident of this city in 1852 ; in 185-4 he was 

384 Early Reminiscences. 

chosen President of the Indianapolis and Peru Railroad, and 
under his supervision that road has become one of the popu- 
lar as well as paying roads of the State, and is considered a 
first-class road. 

While a member of the Legislature he made the acquaint- 
ance of and married the eldest daughter of Robert Patterson, 
who was one of the pioneers of this city, and for many years 
one of its most respected citizens. 

Mr. Macy built and owns the hotel that bears his name; 
he is, also, the owner of other valuable city property, and 
owns and lives in one of the fine residences in the north part 
of the city. 


Was born in Henry County, Kentucky, and with his father 
and family he became a resident of Perry Township, in this 
county, in 1835. 

In 1848 his father, John H. Oliver, removed to Montgom- 
ery County, and there died in 1859, 

Dr. Oliver is a graduate of the Louisville Medical College, 
and is now one of the practicing physicians of this city. 

His first wife was the daughter and only child of Judge 
Elikem Harding, one of the pioneers who came to this place 
in the spring of 1820, and was an associate judge in the first 
court held in this city. 

Dr. Oliver is a man of fine personal appearance, courteous 
and gentlemanly in his intercourse with his friends and those 
he has business with, and never fails to make a favorable im- 
pression upon the minds of those he becomes acquainted with. 


I have digressed from my original design of writing remi- 
niscences and sketches only of th-e first and old inhabitants 
of Indianapolis, and have selected a few of the most promi- 

William II. EiujUsh. 385 

nent and enterprising business men of the present day whose 
career is worthy of emulation. 

Prominent among this class is William H. English, Presi- 
dent of and principal stockholder in the First National Bank 
of this city. 

He came to this city and organized this bank sometime pre- 
vious to the removal of his family to this place and making 
it their permanent home, which was not until 18G4. 

Being a native of the S,tate and favorably known to our 
citizens, he immediately took rank as a first-class business 
man, and identified himself with several enterprises which 
have proved beneficial to the city and redound to his credit 
as a man and public spirited citizen. 

His career in the southern part of the State, where he was 

born and raised, was eminently successful. His father was 

one of the pioneers of that section and a member of the In- 

k'diana Legislature for nearly twenty years, and we remember 

him as one of the leading men of his party in that body. 

The son entered political life at an early age. He was 
principal clerk of the House of Representatives in 1843, and 
an active participant in the Presidential canvass of 1844 that 
resulted in the election of Mr. Polk over Henry Clay. 

He was an ofiicer in the Treasury Department at Washing- 
ton during the whole of Mr. Polk's administration, and a clerk 
in the United States Senate during that ever-memorable ses- 
sion of 1850, when the compromise was effected. 

Mr. English was principal Secretary of the Convention that 
framed the present Constitution of Indiana, a member of the 
House of Representatives (Scott) in 1851, and was elected its 
Speaker at that session. 

He was a member of Congress during the whole of Mr. 
Pierce's and Mr. Buchanan's administrations, from the Second 
Congressional District of Indiana, and Regent of the Smith- 
sonian Institute at Washington the entire eight years. 

386 Early Beminiscences. 

During his long service in Congress he took a prominent 
and active part in several important national questions. He 
was the author of a bill which passed Congress, known as the 
" English Bill," long a subject of bitter controversy between 
the political parties of the day. 

This bill was a compromise, removing an angry issue be- 
tween the Senate and House of Representatives, placing it in 
the power of the people of Kansas, by a vote, to either pre- 
vent or secure the admission of Kansas under the Lecompton 
Constitution as they might determine. 

His thoughts and logic were clear, and he depicted facts 
with a fresh reflection of youth, and with a ready pen he fitted 
his thoughts to circumstances. 

On the breakin^r out of the war Mr. Ensrlish retired from 
Congress, and, comparatively, from an active political life, and 
without ever having sustained a defeat before the people. 

The First National Bank of this city was a pioneer of the k 
system in Indiana, and it has been very successful under his 
manag-ement as the chief executive ofl&cer of the institution, 
I see by the city papers its stock is worth fifty per cent, pre- 
mium, and holders refuse to sell at these figures ; this cer- 
tainly speaks well for the financial ability of its head. 

Mr. English is also one of the two sole proprietors of the 
various lines of Street Railways that run through the eity, as 
he is also of that fashionable place of amusement and recre- 
ation, the Rink, 

He is a man of fine native as well as acquired ability, a 
well-read lawyer, but not in practice for many years, and a 
man of large wealth. | 

It is but seldom we see a man who started with such pros- ^ 
pects of a brilliant career in politics voluntarily relinquish 
them for that of an active business life. And it is still more 
remarkable that an only child as he is, reared in the lap of 
luxury and ease, and never knew what it was to have a rea- 

Rev. William W. Hihben. 387 

sonable wish ungratified by indulgent parents, that had never 
experienced the necessity of exertion of either body or mind, 
should make the energetic business man he has. 

Mr. English is now just in the prime of life, a tall, finely 
framed and symmetrical figure, dignified and gentlemanly in 
his bearing, a fine address, his whole contour would at once 
commend to and attract attention in any intelligent assem- 

During the time he was engaged iu the Treasury Depart- 
ment he met with a young lady of Virginia, then visiting the 
National Capital, and they were married ; she yet shares his 
great prosperity and the reward of his untiring energy and 

He purchased that beautiful property of W. S. Hubbard's, 
on Circle street, and directly in the center of the city, and 
there resides. 

Mr. English's venerable father and mother, the Hon. Elisha 
G. English and lady, are citizens of the city and reside with 
their son. 


Mr. Hibben is, perhaps, as well known to the people of In- 
diana as any minister now living within its borders. 

He was a native of Uniontown, Fayette County, Pennsyl- 
vania, but at an early age came to Ohio. He was licensed as 
a Methodist Minister at Hillsborough, Ohio, in 1832. 

In March, 1835, he came to Indiana and was admitted into 
the Indiana Conference, at Lafayette, in October of that year ; 
after which he was the " preacher in charge " of some of the 
most important stations within the State. 

In 1844, when we first made his acquaintance, he \^as sta- 
tioned in Indianapolis, and while located here he raised some 
seven or eight thousand dollars for the purpose of building 
Wesley Chapel, and succeeded in stirring up a determination 

388 Early Reminiscences. 

in the congregation to build the church, which they finished 
the next year. 

This church is now owned by Richard J. Bright, and is oc- 
cupied as the office of the " Indianapolis Daily Sentinel," and 
Mr. Hibben is the able correspondent for the paper over the 
signature of "Jefferson." 

After being a Methodist Minister for nearly thirty years, a 
portion of the time as presiding elder, for reasons satisfactory 
to himself, and believing that he could be more beneficial in 
another, he severed his connection with the Methodist minis- 
try and attached himself to the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
and is now one of its honored ministers. 

Mr. Hibben is a ready writer, as has been attested by the 
able articles he has furnished for the columns of the " Daily 
Sentinel " upon the commercial and manufacturing interests 
of this city. 

During the rebellion he furnished four sons to help fight 
the battles for the preservation of the Union. Although 
preachers, especially Methodist, were intensely loyal, I doubt 
if there are many who can show more substantial evidence of 
devotion to the " old flag " than Brother Hibben. 

He is a man of good address, a pleasant and entertaining 
speaker, genial manners, and seems disposed to look upon the 
bright and sunny side of sublunary cares. 


Is one of the leading hatters of Indianapolis. He has been 
a citizen of this city since 1862. He was direct from New 
Albany to this place, and has acquired considerable notoriety 
in his business capacity. 

He is a small, spare-made man, about forty years of age, 
with a quick and penetrating eye, and can measure at a glance 
the size of a customer's head, as well as the contents of his 
pocket-book, the moment he sets foot in his store, and has 

Isaac Davis. 389 

seldom been mistaken in his man, not even when he encoun- 
tered " Hoosier Bill," as the sequel proved that Bill was mis- 
taken, and succeeded in waking up the wrong passenger, for 
he got the worst of it all the way through, and will not wish 
to encounter another Isaac Davis as long as he lives. 

There is no person that has read the city papers for the 
last seven years but must be familiar with the name of " Ike 
Davis;" he seems to think and act upon the principal that, 
next to keeping a fine assortment in his store, printer's ink is 
essential to success, hence his name in nearly all our daily 
papers. I believe his business motto is, small profits and 
quick returns. 

On one occasion Mr. Davis was seated in his store rumina- 
ting on the uncertainty of sublunary affairs (except taxes), 
when his attention was attracted to a long, lean, lank, cadave- 
rous individual standing about the middle of his store taking 
a close survey of his surroundings. His coat sleeves were 
about six inches too short for his arms, or rather his arms 
were too long for his sleeves ; the waist of his coat seemed 
to be making an efi"ort to gain the top of his shoulders ; one 
arm was run half-way down his pantaloons pocket, as though 
to secure his pocket-book; he wore a pair of sunburnt bro- 
gans, something of the color of a red fox ; his hat had evi- 
dently seen better days ; his whole contour presented a rather 
singular appearance. 

At the approach of the proprietor, he inquired if they sold 
hats there? Being answered in the affirmative, and asked 
what kind he wished to look at, "a nice Sunday hat," said 
he. Mr. Davis invited him to the back part of the store 
where the wool or cheap hats were kept. 

After looking at and selecting one, he asked the price; one 
dollar, was the answer. " I shan't gin no such price," throw- 
ing the hat down with great earnestness and passion, and pick- 
ing up his old hat held it up to the view of Mr. Davis, and 

390 Early Beminiscences. 

exclaimed " thar is as nice a hat as wur ever worn by any 
man, and I only gin eighty cents for it!" 

The Hoosier Bill referred to in the first of this sketch was 
a daring burglar that tried his hand on Mr. Davis' person as 
well as his premises, but he made a signal failure, as far as 
the accomplishment of his object was concerned. 

Although he dealt Mr. D. a severe blow when he met him 
at the threshold, he was afterwards captured and sent to the 
State Prison for a term of years. 

Since his incarceration there he was equally unsuccessful. 
In an attempt to escape from that institution he was shot by 
one of the guard, and although not killed he was severely 
injured. As a proper appreciation of the guard's good inten- 
tion Mr. Davis presented him with one of his " nice Sunday 

The extreme counterpart of Mr. Davis' fine store will be 
found in the sketch of the second hat shop in this place, i. e., 
of Nathan Davis, more generally known in his day as " Hon- 
est Nathan." 

I understand Mr. Davis has made many friends since his 
residence in this place that wish him a long life and continued 
success in his business of selling "Sunday hats." 


This firm is composed of two young men, Azel M. and Hen- 
ry L. Benham, who came to this city about ten years since, 
and without money or friends, have, in the face of strong op- 
position and capital, succeeded by perseverance, patient in- 
dustry and upright dealing, built up and now maintain a hand- 
some trade in music and the musical instrument line. 

They being connoisseurs in the science of music, as well 
as performers themselves, have enabled them to secure for the 
Indianapolis public the very best musical talent of the old as 
well as the new world. 

Smnuel W. Brew. 391 

It has been mainly through their influence that those first- 
class Opera troops have been induced to visit this city, as 
the public are already aware through the city papers, that the 
engagement of those companies have generally been effected 
through their agency. 

They are the editors and publishers of the " Western Mu- 
sical Review," a twenty page monthly quarto journal of mu- 
sic, art and literature, devoted to the diffusion of musical infor- 
mation, and furnishing their patrons with the latest and most 
popular pieces. 

In their immense establishment may be found all kinds of 
instruments, from banjo of Cuffey to the finest seven-octave 
piano that graces the parlors of the upper tendum of the city. 
In their drawers may be found any piece of music from Billy 
Barlow, or Captain Jinks, to selections from the most fashion- 
able and standard operas of the day. 

Messrs. Benham are natives of the western part of New 
York, were raised on a farm and used to farm labor, but with 
a perseverance and energy worthy of emulation, they set out 
early in life to seek their fortunes among strangers and in a 
strange land, and we find them to-day enjoying the reward of 
their indomitable industry, and destined to move in a sphere 
that at once commands the approbation of the public and the 
confidence of all who know them. 

These gentlemen are endowed with an intellectual clever- 
ness that at once wins upon those they are brought in contact 
with, either in the ordinary business of the day or in their 
social relations. 


Was born in Dover, New Hampshire, and learned the carriage 
making business in Exeter, in his native State. From the 
latter place he removed to HoUowell, Maine, and there car- 
ried on his business for several years with considerable sue- 

392 Early Reminiscences. 

cess ; but he was doomed to misfortune in the loss by fire of 
his entire manufacturing establishment, as well as his dwell- 
ing which was adjoining. 

After this disaster, not the least dispirited, he went to Rox- 
bury, Massachusetts, and with a renewed energy again en- 
gaged in the business. 

From Roxbury he came to Indianapolis in 1852; since that 
time he has been engaged pretty extensively in the manufac- 
ture of carriasres of all kinds. 

Although Mr. Drew has lived out the three-score years and 
ten, the time generally allotted to man, he is yet vigorous and 
energetic, and contains considerable of the true Yankee grit, 
sufl&cient for a new lease of life running the same length of 

The old gentleman is very courteous and accommodating in 
his intercourse with his customers, and never fails to leave a 
good impression upon the minds of those who have business 
with him. 

He has, at this writing, carried on the business longer than 
any other person in that line now doing business in this city, 
and can furnish as fine a carriage as can be found in any simi- 
lar establishment in the western country, and there will be 
found no worm-eaten timber, flawy iron, or streaks of running 
paint on work that he turns out to his customers. 

He makes it a point to be honest and just in business, mer- 
ciful in religion, and liberal to the poor, never turning the 
needy away empty handed from his door. 

Mr. Drew's oldest son is a resident of the city, and is pro- 
prietor of a first-class livery stable on Court street, between 
Pennsylvania and Delaware streets. 


Having business a few days since that required me to visit 
that elegant mart of fashionable merchandise, the Trade Pal- 

N. 11 Smith. 393 

ace, I was astonished to see the improvement that has been 
made in the style of dry goods, as well as in the manner that 
they are displayed and offered for sale. 

Thirty-eight years ago the writer, as a store boy for Henry 
Porter, sold the first six yards of calico (then a full dress pat- 
tern) that ever was sold on the square where now stands this 
magnificent establishment; and although I was raised to the 
business of "cutting tape," I was entirely unprepared to see 
such a change as has taken place in this particular branch of 
business, and felt as much out of place as a bull would be in 
a china shop. 

In the Trade Palace are now employed about thirty clerks, 
male and female, besides several " cash boys " and porters; 
its business is so systematized that they attend to their vari- 
ous duties and branches without apparently having to speak 
with each other, at least not so loud as to disturb others trans- 
acting business near by. 

The moment the customer sets foot on the door-step the 
door is opened for their ingress and closed noiselessly after 
them. So soon as they make known the article or style of 
goods they wish to look at, they are conducted to that part 
of the immense and beautiful room where the article they 
wish is kept, and the whole business is transacted in such a 
quiet and pleasant way as to induce the customer to often pur- 
chase for the pleasure attendant thereby. 

In the Trade Palace can be found all kinds of fancy or 
staple dry goods, either of European or American manufac- 
ture, and there the most fjistidious can be suited. They can 
select the fabric and have it made in any style they may de- 
sire, from a shilling calico dress to a S200 velvet cloak, or a 
pair of jeans pants to a beaver cloth overcoat without leaving 
the house. 

How different from the country stores of forty years ago, 
when the first thing that would meet the customer's eye after 

394 Early Reminiscences. 

stulnbling over bars of iron, kegs of nails, or piles of bacon 
to get to the counter, would be an empty whisky barrel turned 
on end, on this would be a bottle of whisky, a pitcher of wa- 
ter, a bowl of maple sugar and a tumbler of ground ginger, 
for the use of the thirsty customer before proceeding to pur- 
chase their five pounds of coflfee, their gallon of molasses, 
their half dozen of mackerel, or their calico dress pattern. 
The change in the manner of doing business in Indianapolis 
is a good deal owing to Yankee enterprise, and the acquisition 
of such business men as the gentleman whose name stands at 
the head of this imperfect sketch as the proprietor of the 
Trade Palace, 

N. R. Smith was born in Middlebury, Vermont, August 7, 
1831, and is now just in the meridian of life, and at that age 
when we generally look forward to a bright future. He is of 
a hopeful and cheerful disposition, and infuses the same spirit 
into the hearts and minds of those around him. His candor 
and honesty seems manifest so soon as his acquaintance is 
made. His genial and smiling countenance is captivating and 
bears the sterling stamp that at once portrays his goodness of 
heart and honesty of purpose. 

Mr. Smith is emphatically a self-made man, having begun 
the world without any capital save those personal qualities 
we have here but briefly referred to, and his attention and 
assiduity to business gives favorable omens of success in what- 
ever he may undertake. 

He has been successful in drawing around him such clerks 
and assistants as are well calculated to forward his interest 
and at the same time render his establishment popular. 

Indianapolis may well be proud of such an acqusition to 
her population as N. R. Smith, and welcome all such that 
may choose to cast their lot among us. 

Dr. Alois D. Gall. 395 


Twenty years' acquaintance with Dr. Gull enables the wri- 
ter to speak understandingly, and we bear testimony cheer- 
fully of his many good qualities and fine traits of character, 
and his social and convivial disposition. 

We were about the first acquaintance he made in Indian- 
apolis when he first made it his residence in the year 1847, 
and our friendship and that of our families continued unbro- 
ken or marred by a single unpleasant incident up to the time 
he was so suddenly and unexpectedly called to pass from time 
to eternity, which gave such a shock to his many friends and 
acquaintances in this city. 

Dr. Gall was very popular with all classes, especially was 
he so with his German fellow-citizens who venerate his mem- 
ory as that of one of their most worthy countrymen. 

He was a man of fine attainments and well read in his pro 
fession. He stood deservedly high with his medical brethren 
in this city, which will be seen by the proceedings of the " In- 
dianapolis Academy of Medicine," held at their rooms on the 
evening of February 12, 1867, when the following preamble 
and resolutions were unanimously adoted, viz.: 

" Whereas, It has pleased an Allwise Providence to summon 
from our midst, Dr. Alois D. Gall, a member of this Acad- 
emy : And whereas, the surviving members desire to ex- 
press their appreciation of his professional attainments and 
estimable character : Therefore, 

Resolved, That the Academy of Medicine receive the an- 
nouncement of the death of Dr. Gall with profound grief, as 
it has deprived them of one of their most worthy, efficient 
and valuable members. 

Resolved, That his many virtues and genial social qualities, 
as well as his professional attainments, render his loss one 
that will be painfully felt throughout a wide circle of friends. 

396 Early Reminiscences. 

Resolved, That the Academy tender their condolence and 
sympathy to the bereaved members of his family in this griev- 
ous affliction. 

Resolved, That in testimony of our respect for the deceased 
the Academy will attend the funeral ceremonies in a body. 

Resolved, That the Secretary furnish a copy of the forego- 
ing resolutions to the family of the deceased. 

J. H. WOODBURN, M. D., President. 

F. B. NoFSiNGER, M. D., Secretary. 

Doctor Gall was born in Weil die Stadt, in the German 
State of Wurtemburg, on the 16th of March, 1814. About 
the year 1841 he emigrated to the United States and for five 
years practiced medicine in Pennsylvania. In the year 1847, 
as above stated, he removed to Indianapolis and permanently 
located his family here. He was a successful practitioner of 
medicine until 1853, when he was appointed by President 
Pierce as United States Consul at Antwerp, Belgium, where 
he remained in office six years, having removed his family 
to that place for the purpose of educating his children. 

While holding this high and responsible position, tendered 
him by the Chief Magistrate of his adopted country, he dis- 
charsed all its duties with honor to himself and to the entire 
satisfaction of the appointing power and the people he so 
faithfully represented. 

While at Antwerp the American captains in that port, as 
an appreciation of his fidelity to his adopted country and the 
interest he took in American citizens sojourning there, pre- 
sented him with a beautiful and elaborately wrought gold- 
headed cane ; this was more valuable for the idea it conveyed 
than for its intrinsic worth. 

During the late rebellion he was a warm and devoted Union 
man, and was Surgeon of the Thirteenth Indiana Regiment, 
and afterwards promoted to Brigade Surgeon and Medical 

Early " Colored Society'' 397 

Director, and resigned after three years hard and laborious 
service in the field. While at Norfolk, Virginia, he was pre- 
sented by the ofl&cers of the Thirteenth Indiana Regiment 
with a fine sword as a testimony of their respect for him and 
his fidelity to his trust. 

Dr. Gall died of appoplexy, after being sick only two hours, 
on the 11th day of February, 1867, leaving a wife and three 
children, all of whom yet reside in this city. The only daugh- 
ter is the wife of Frederick P. Rush, one of the business men 
of the city. 

Albert, the eldest son, at the age of eighteen years, went 
to California and there remained three years, where he ac- 
quired fine business qualifications as a merchant, which laid 
the foundation for future usefulness as well as a fortune. He 
is now engaged in a large carpet and general house-furnish- 
ing establishment. 

Edmund, the second son and youngest child, resides with 
his mother and manages her business. Dr. Gall left his fam- 
ily in possession of some fine city property, and altog<ether in 
comfortable and easy circumstances. 

His wife yet retains her widowhood, and mourns her loss as 
irreparable, as Rachel mourning for her children. 

" Death enters and there's no defense ; 
His time there's none can tell." 


The first person of color (I mean African) that came to 
Indianapolis, was a boy about twelve years' of age, brought 
here by Dr. Samuel G. Mitchell in the spring of 182L He 
remained here about six years, and then, with a party of ad- 
venturers, went to Galena, Illinois. 

The second was Chaney Lively, a yellow woman, that came 
as a housekeeper for Alexander Ralston, he being a bachelor. 

398 Early liefairdsccnces. 

She was a member of the first Presbyterian Church, and was 
universally respected by the pioneer ladies of the place, and 
who often took tea with her. She always behaved herself 
with propriety, and never took advantage of the attention 
shown her by them to be in any wise saucy. She was married 
to a well known barber, named John Britton, who yet resides 
here. Chaney died about ten years since. 

A third was a barber, Obed Miftin. He has been dead near 
thirty years. Then in turn came "Colonel" Hunter, Fancy 
Tom, David Mallory and John Alexander. 

About the year 1828 a number of blacks came from Bour- 
bon County, Kentucky, the former slaves of John G. Brown. 

Among them was " old Sam Brown," Willis, his son, Albert 
Gallatan, Bill McKinney and several more, nearly all of whom 
had descended from "Old Sam." Willis and Bill are still 
living in the city. 

Then came Chubb, Parson Layback and Judge Peter Smith, 
barber-general of the Fifth Judicial Circuit. Parson Lay- 
back was a noisy, boisterous preacher, and the back part of 
his head lay upon his shoulders, so that his face appeared to 
be on the top of it, hence his name. 

Then came one of the present barbers, Augustus Turner, 
who bought an acre of ground on the corner of Tennessee 
and Georgia streets, where he still resides. 

Then William Bird, Lovel Bass, and a large family named 
Crawford. The most of these last named are still living, and 
had learned, long before " Bucktown " existed, to behave 
themselves, and their persons and property were protected by 
their white neighbors. 

True, there were some colored persons that were temporary 
residents, and did not come up to Dave Buckhardt's standard 
of " colored propriety," who were sometimes raided by the 
"chain gang," and their quarters for awhile were made hot, 
often so much so that they deemed " prudence the better part 

Early ''Colored Society:' 399 

of valor," and emigrated to climes more congeuial to their 

The first African Church was that of the Methodist, on 
Georgia street, just west of Kentucky avenue. This church 
was the scene of many laughable incidents as well as bloody 
noses, the latter generally happened when some low white 
man would go there to disturb their worship, and he generally 
got the worst of it. 

On one occasion a fellow went there for that purpose, and 
the first person he encountered was a large, stout saddle-col- 
ored "American citizen," named Bill Manly. Bill gave him 
a sound thrashing. 

The fellow next day informed on him to Esquire Scudder. 
Mr. Scudder fined Bill one cent, on the fellow's own testimo- 
ny, and remitted the cost. 

In selecting their preachers at this church they did not al- 
ways get graduates of the best "Theological Institutions" of 
the country — although they looked fat and sleek as though 
they had had their share of yellow-legged chickens, and their 
wardrobes had received proper attention from their colored 

On one occasion a white preacher and a friend had been 
holding a prayer meeting in "Stringtown " at night, and re- 
turning home late they heard a terrible noise proceeding from 
the church spoken of above. The preacher proposed that 
they should call by and see what was going on, to which the 
other assented. The colored preacher was about dismissing 
his congregation when his attention was attracted to our two 
friends ; he left the pulpit and went to where they were seated, 
near the door, and requested the white preacher to close their 
meeting for them "with prar." To this our white friend as- 
sented. The colored gentleman returned to the pulpit and 
called the attention of the congregation in this way. " My 
dear bredrain, our white brudder do signal'y dat he is gwine 

400 Early Reminiscences. 

t) close our meetin' with prar, arter we sing dat good ole 
hime." He then gave out in this way : 

'* Hark from de toons a doleful soun 
My eers atten de cry." 

This they sang at the top of their voices to the tune of the 
"Cannibal Islands." 

The colored people are at this time erecting, west of the 
Canal in that part of the city known as Bucktown, two splen- 
did brick churches, one for the Methodist the other for the 
Baptist congregations. 


Every person is adapted by nature to some particular busi- 
ness or profession, so it is with the subject of this sketch to 
the art of taxidermy. He can take an animal or bird and 
prepare and take from its body the skin and again give it the 
natural shape and life-like appearance it formerly possessed. 

Dr. Barnitz is the first of that profession to make Indian- 
apolis his home. With his father's family he came to this 
place in 1856, and has here resided since that time. 

He was born in East Berlin, Adams County, Pennsylvania, 
on the 23d of June, 1833. When he was two years of age 
his father removed to Carlisle, where the Doctor was prepared 
for the higher branches of education. He then entered Dick- 
inson College, and afterward studied medicine with Dr. L. B. 
KiefFer, an eminent physician of Carlisle ; then he attended 
the medical lectures at Philadelphia. It was while attending 
these lectures his attention was first turned to taxidermy as 
his profession ; being an admirer of nature and her works the 
study was an easy as well as a pleasant one to him, and he 
soon acquired the art and practiced it with success. 

He has spent much time and money traveling in foreign 
countries in search of specimens of the animal creation upon 
which to gratify his peculiar tastes, and was successful in find- 

Jehiel Barnard. 401 

ing a great variety, and can show quite a museum of the rarest 
birds and quadrupeds of his native as well as foreign coun- 

Dr. Barnitz, with his father, Mr. Charles Barnitz, is en- 
gaged in the real estate business in this city, but devotes a 
considerable portion of his time to the practice of taxidermy, 
more as an amateur than for a consideration, or as a means of 
making money. 


Prominent among the business men of Indianapolis is the 
gentleman whose name stands at the head of this sketch. 

Mr. Barnard is a native of that beautiful and prosperous 
inland city, Rochester, New York, and there resided until he 
had attained his majority. 

His father, the late Jehiel Barnard, of Rochester, was one 
of the early citizens of that city, and was the first person 
married within its limits. He was a relative of that eminent 
and distinguished lawyer and statesman of western New York, 
Hon. Daniel D. Barnard, who for many years represented the 
Rochester District in the Congress of the United States. 

In the year 1847 Jehiel Barnard removed to New York 
City and engaged in the wholesale hardware business, and 
there continued until his removal to Indianapolis in the fall 
of 1855. 

In the year 1856, in connection with his father-in-law (Mr 
Joseph Farnsworth, formerly of Madison, Indiana), engaged 
in this city in the manufacture of railway cars, and was suc- 
cessful until the breaking out of the rebellion in 1861, when, 
in consequence of the large amount due them from Southern 
Railroad Companies, and not collectable, they suspended ope- 
rations in that line. 

Mr, Farnsworth is at this time a resident of (^hicago, Illi- 

402 Early Beminiscenees, 

nois, having retired from active business with a large fortune, 
the reward of his youthful energy and industry. 

Mr. Barnard was elected Secretary of the Indianapolis 
" Chamber of Commerce " at its first organization in 1863, 
which position he yet holds ; and it may be truthfully said 
that it is mainly to his personal efforts in its behalf that that 
organization has become one of the permanent institutions of 
the city. 

He is at this time the agent for seven of the popular and 
reliable Life and Fire Insurance Companies of the eastern 
States, and does a large share of that business in this city. 

The first and early settlers of Indianapolis were very much 
prejudiced against people hailing from the Eastern States, all 
of which they called Yankees without regard to the locality 
they were from. It is mainly to Yankee enterprise, and such 
Yankees as Mr. Barnard, that Indianapolis is what it is to-day, 
one of the most prosperous cities in the Mississippi valley ; 
and if the Eastern States has any more such to spare we will 
welcome them to citizenship. 

Mr. B. is a gentleman of untiring energy and industry, just 
in the prime of life, with a vigorous constitution, and bids 
fair for many years of public usefulness, with a good address 
and pleasing manners, and has since he became a citizen of 
Indianapolis made many warm personal friends. 


This accomplished artist and gentleman was born in Lon- 
don, England, in the year 1820, and in his younger years 
worked with his father at the business of harp and violin 
string making. In 1840 he came to America on a visit to his 
brother-in-law, the late William E. Burton, who at that time 
was the editor of th« "Gentleman's Magazine," at Philadel- 
phia, and 'on-e ©f the most distinguished and accomplished 
actors of the day. 

I'homas B, Glessiiig. 403 

Mr. Glossing remained in Philadelphia one year and then 
returned to his native land, but soon found that the United 
States was the country for him, and before the expiration of 
another year he was again in "the land of the free," where 
he has remained ever since. 

He then went upon the theatrical boards and performed 
two years ; that led him to the paint and scenic room, and 
there he at last found his forte. 

He came to Indianapolis in 1859 to assist a brother artist 
in the decorations of the Metropolitan Theater, and has never 
left since, for here he found the first home he could truly call 
his own, " where none dare hinder or make him afraid." Here 
he has made many warm friends. We are sorry to learn (and 
with feelings of deep regret) that he may be induced to give 
them up for brighter prospects elsewhere. 

Mr. Glossing is an artist in every sense of the word, as is 
attested not only by the decorations of the Academy of Music, 
but by a visit to his residence. He not only understands the 
culture and production of the beauties of nature, but also 
their transcription to canvass, which he does in an artistic and 
life-like style. 

To visit his beautiful home you would not have to be told 
that he was an artist. In his yard and conservatory will be 
found nearly every variety of plants and flowers, from the 
modest field flowers of our own Indiana to those of other 
climes. In his aquarium will be found some of the most 
beautiful of the finny tribe. 

He is a particular friend of that distinguished actor and 
gentleman, Joseph Jeff'erson, whose reputation in the charac- 
ter of Rip Van Winkle is world wide. 

Mr. Glossing is a man of more than ordinary culture and 
refinement, and enjoys the society of his friends and acMjuaint- 
ances, and ever makes them feel welcome when around his 

404 Early Reminiscences. 

AVe should regret very much if Indianapolis could not re- 
tain him as one of her permanent citizens, as his place could 
hardly be filled as an artist as well as a gentleman. 


A native of the Kingdom of Wurtemburg, Germany, crossed 
the Atlantic in 1816, and arrived in Louisville, Kentucky, in 
1820, whore he remained until 1850. 

Having heard of the fine opening for business, and some 
of the great advantages possessed by Indianapolis, he was in- 
duced to visit this place, and purchased of the late John L. 
Ketcham the northeast quarter of section thirteen, in town- 
ship fifteen, range three east, known as Delaware Camp. 

This tract of land the writer has referred to in the sketch 
of his father as the old Delaware sugar camp, where he made 
sugar in the spring of 1821, at which time he gave it the 
name it is yet known by. 

This quarter section was purchased by William Sanders at 
the first sale of lands held in the new purchase at Brookville, 
in the summer of 1821, and by him made to blossom as the 

It has since passed through the hands of John Wood, Rob- 
ert B. Duncan, John L. Ketcham, and from the latter to Mr. 

When Mr. B. purchased it, in 1850, at eighty dollars per 
acre, he was playfully rebuked by some of the citizens for 
coming here and running up the price of land upon them. 
Subsequent events proved his sagacity and foresight, for in 
1856 he sold forty acres of the same tract to Henry Weghorst 
for $350 per acre, realizing twelve hundred dollars more than 
he paid for the whole. 

This farm was among the first improved in the county, and 
produced the finest varieties of fruits and vegetables. 

Mr. Wood at one time owned land adjoining this sufficient 

J. Gcorfje Stilz. 405 

to make the whole tract four hundred and eighty acres, most 
of which is now worth at least $1,000 per acre. 

Delaware Camp has, from the time " this town was but a 
village," been the resort of the belles and beaux of the place, 
and many has been the wedding engagement made in a ride 
to and from it. 

It was in that house the writer first saw his better half, on 
the occasion of the wedding of Robert L. Browning to Miss 
Mary, daughter of Mr. Wood. Little did he dream twenty 
years before, when he was gathering the sugar water among 
the nettles knee high, that upon that very ground he would 
first meet her who was to be his partner in life's rugged jour- 
ney. Such is life. 

At the time Mr. B. purchased this farm it was an almost 
unbroken forest from what is now called and including Stilz 
woods to the corner of East street and Virginia avenue. 


Who is at this time engaged in the business of a seedsman 
and dealer in agricultural implements, was born in the city 
of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the year 1834, and as a 
Ward of that irrand old commonwealth received at her hands 
a liberal education in the Public Schools. 

Graduating in 1851 from the Central High School of that 
city, young Stilz entered the mercantile life by engaging with 
one of the largest commercial houses of his native city, and 
with whom he continued until the close of 1850, when, being 
dissatisfied with the limited opportunities for advancement in 
an overcrowded East, he ventured West in January, 1857, and 
reaching Indianapolis concluded to settle here, and engaged 
in the capacity of clerk with Tousey & Byram, and remained 
with them until March, 1858. 

Being of a mechanical turn, and also agriculturally inclined, 
Mr. Stilz, on the first of June of that year, formed a copait- 

406 Early Reminiscences. 

nership with P. S. Birkenmayer, dealer in seeds and agricul- 
tural implements, it being the pioneer establishment in this 
line in the city, of which business, by the withdrawal of Mr. 
B. in March 1861, Mr. Stilz has been and is now sole propri- 

Much of Mr. S.'s success in this business is no doubt attrib- 
utable to his being a practical cultivator and agriculturist, 
as since his advent into the seed and implement trade he has 
been actively engaged in the culture of all the varied pro- 
ducts of the soil, thus gaining by experience the discrimina- 
tion and knowledge necessary to the accurate selection of his 
own wares, and the proper conduct of his business. That the 
same has been conducted with marked ability and success is 
evidenced by the steady and permanent growth of his busi- 
ness and the widely extended reputation which this house 

Mr. Stilz is just now in the prime of life, with a healthy 
and robust constitution, a fine form and a good personal ad- 
dress, and possesses the happy faculty of making friends of 
all with whom business or circumstances brings him in con- 


Was born in Clark County, Indiana, February 6, 1820. His 
father removed to Louisville, Kentucky, and after living there 
a few years returned to his old home in Indiana, and there 
died in 1831. 

In 1837 William H. H. Robinson moved to Rockford, in 
Jackson County, and there resided until 1851, when he re- 
moved to Indianapolis. 

Mr. Robinson enlisted in the three months' service at the 
beginning of the war, and went into Camp Morton as color- 
bearer ; on the next Sunday he was elected Captain of the 
Company, and went into Virginia with Colonel Lew Wallace. 

Jossclyn Brothers ^ Co. 407 

He was soon elected Major of tlie Regiment. Was with Gen- 
eral Patterson at Martinsburg, then at Winchester; was at 
Bunker Hill the day of the first Bull Bun fight. 

After the three months' service terminated he returned 
home and recruited a Begiment and took them to St. Louis, 
thence to Paduca, Kentucky, and done honorable service in 
the field. 

In 1864 he was nominated by the Bepublican party, and 
elected, sheriff of Marion County. This last ofiice he filled 
with credit to himself and satisfaction to the people. 

Since his retirement from office he has engaged in the man- 
ufacture of pianos, as one of the partners of the " Indianap- 
olis Piano Manufacturing Company." This establishment 
turns out three pianos of the best quality per month, and they 
are shipped to and sold in many of the Western cities, and 
are considered inferior to none, and far superior to many in- 
struments of the kind of Eastern manufacture. They employ 
none but the best of workmen, and use only a superior article 
of material. 

The Messrs. Benhams', who are the agents for the sale of 
these pianos in this place, would sell or recommend none but 
the best, and their agency is guarantee sufficient to the public 
for the quality of these instruments, and the public can place 
the most implicit confidence in what either Mr. llobinson or 
Messrs. Benhams say in regard to them. 


Are dealers in the Singer Manufacturing Company's Sewing 
Machines for Indiana, Michigan, Northern Ohio, part of Illi- 
nois and Ontario, Canada. 

This firm is composed of Alanson K. Josselyn, of Indian- 
apolis, Homer R. Josselyn and John J. J^igloy, of Detroit. 

Alanson K. Josselyn is the managing partner for their im- 

408 Early Reminiscences. 

mense and splendid establishment in Indianapolis, while his 
brother is the manager in Detroit. 

Alanson K. Josselyn is a native of New York, his brother, 
of Massachusetts. They possess in a high degree business 
qualifications that are generally found in persons from those 
States. They came West for the purpose of taking charge of 
the Singer Manufacturing Company's business. 

John J. Bagley is a prominent business man and capitalist 
of Detroit, and proprietor of the Tobacco manufacturing es- 
tablishment of that city, where that well known and popular 
article of tobacco, called " May Flower," is produced. They 
established a branch of their sewing machine business in this 
place in June, 1869, since which time their manager, as well 
as their articles, have become quite popular, and have grown 
in public favor. 

Their salesroom is splendidly finished and most elaborately 
furnished, in fact, is the finest in the city, and I doubt much 
whether it can be surpassed in the AVest, where all the vari- 
ous kinds of machines of that company may be found, as well 
as the difi'erent silk twist and spool thread manufactured by 
the company. 

In their store will be found the article used by the lone 
widow or seamstress, as a means of support for herself and 
family, to the finer and more costly article used by the wealthy 
for amusement or pastime. 

Not the least attractive feature connected with their sales- 
room are several duplicates of the original sewing machine, 
first introduced by Adam and used in the Garden of Eden. 
They are employed to learn their customers how to use the 
modern article. 

In their Indianapolis House they employ five clerks and 
six shipping clerks, beside the young ladies referred to in the 
preceding paragraph. 

T clip the following from the "Indianapolis Sentinel " of 

Josselyn Brothers ^- Co. 409 

April 18, 1870. The able correspondent gives a more ex- 
tended history of the Singer machine : 

" This machine is certainly as popular as any other in the 
United States. The manufactories of this company are loca- 
ted respectively in the city of New York, Newark, New Jer- 
sey, South Bend, Indiana, and at Glasgow, Scotland. The 
New York factory was the original and chief place of manu- 
facture, both for the wood and iron work of their machines, 
until the erection of their extensive establishment at South 
Bend, where now nearly all of their cabinet work is done, 
giving employment to some four or five hundred hands. 

" Their Newark establishment is devoted entirely to the 
manufacture of silk twist, which is the peculiar thread suita- 
ble for sewing machines, demanding the capital of a million 
of dollars, it being the largest establishment of the kind in 
the world. 

" The Singer machine is so called in honor of its original 
inventor, Mr. Singer, who is now in Paris. He is said to be 
worth some seven or eight millions of dollars. 

"The Singer Manufacturing Company has just purchased 
thirty acres of ground on Tide Water at Bridgeport, Connec- 
ticut, where they are now building a new Eastern factory 
which will be one hundred feet in length, and which they ex- 
pect to have completed by fall, so as to be able to meet the 
demands of their trade, both East and West, and also through- 
out the different countries of Europe. 

''It would, perhaps, to some, seem improbable that this 
company has over 400,000 of their machines now in use, while 
during the past year their sales have amounted to 80,781, 
which far excels any other company, and yet they were not 
able to meet the demands by over 20,000 machines. 

" The wonders of the sewing machine trade of this country 
may be imagined when the fact is stated that the Singer Man- 
ufacturing Company alone gives employment to between seven 

410 Early Reminiscences. 

and eight thousand persons who live through their business 
and enterprise. This fact certainly demonstrates the utility 
as well as the excellence of their machines and its apprecia- 
tion among the people who have had ample opportunities of 
knowing how they compared with all other machines of like 

" Their agency was established in this city in 1869, and for 
the last year has been under the sole direction and govern- 
ment of Josselyn Bros. & Co., of Detroit, whose exclusive 
territory includes Indiana, nearly one-half of the State of 
Illinois, Northern Ohio, Michigan, and a portion of Canada. 
Within these bounds they have sold from this office and that 
of Detroit, during the past year, some eight thousand of the 
Singer machines, amounting to a business of nearly eight hun- 
dred thousand dollars. The business room of Josselyn Bros, 
& Co., of this city. No. 74 West Washington street, is one 
among the neatest and most convenient in the city, and will 
compare well even with our best finished banking rooms. In- 
deed, their mode of doing business is somewhat similar to that 
of banks, for they sell no machines on commission, as their 
numerous agents are and must be responsible, and purchase 
before hand every machine they sell. 

" The young ladies who superintend the salesrooms of 
Messrs. Josselyn Bros. & Co., are both polite and attentive to 
purchasers, and from their intimate familiarity with the Singer 
machine, will, in an hour or so, initiate any person of an ordin- 
ary intelligence into their practical and satisfactory use. 

" The fitting up of these machines, after the arrival of the 
different parts from the manufactory, gives employment to 
quite a number of men, while the business of the office 
requires the attention of some three or four clerks. 

"^ The office finds it necessary, in order to meet the demands 
of the trade at the present time^ to keep a large stock on hand. 
Their basement depository contains now some 2,000 machines. 

William Henry Turner. 411 

" The multiplication and sale of sewing machines throutrhout 
the United States is one of the prof^ressive wonders of the 
land, and shows in the footsteps of our civilization what can 
be accomplished by human genius when it is not only enlight- 
ened, but is free and independent of the overreaching dynasty 
of a stereotyped antiquity. 

" The patronage bestowed upon the single article of sewing 
machines is worthy of an intelligent and free people, as it 
saves centuries of toil in the use of the needle, and will give 
to those who make our garments lives of pleasure, instead of 
a tedious imprisonment in the everlasting flirt of the needle. 

"Sewing machines are physical missionaries in the broad 
field of reform. They lift from the fingers of toil the burden 
of confinement ; they clothe the million in the robes of com- 
fort, and the gentle hum of their song makes much of the 
music of human progress, as the poetry of its declarations 
says to the world, ' Be ye well dressed, and then all men will 
call ye blessed.' " 


Who is one of the leading business men of the city, was born 
at Whitehall, New York, October 10, 1823. 

He removed to Goshen, Indiana, in 1851, and in 1853 be- 
came, for the first time, a citizen of Indianapolis, where he 
engaged in the freight department of the Indianapolis and 
Madison llailway. 

In 1858 he introduced the Russell Reaping and Mowing 
Machine, and established an extensive business in the sale of 
this machine and other agricultural implements, and also a 
large and thriving trade in seeds. He was the first general 
State agent for the sale of the Grovcr k Baker Sowing Ma- 
chine, and built up this branch of business into a large and 
prosperous trade. In addition he established a grain com- 
mission business, which has since become a large and import- 

412 Early Reminiscences. 

ant business, and brought a fortune to his successors. He 
also introduced the celebrated Morgan stock of horses into 
this State, for which he is entitled to the gratitude of all lovers 
and admirers of this beautiful animal. 

In 1865 Mr. T. removed hence to Philadelphia, and after 
an absence of about four years has returned among us with 
all his old time energy for establishing new branches of in- 
dustry at the Capital, and has organized and put in operation, 
on a large scale, the " Indianapolis Mining Coal and Coke 
Company," of which he is the President. 

Out of Mr. Turner's labors among us have sprung four large 
and prosperous business houses, besides the present enterprise 
which he is pushing vigorously forward. 

But beyond this he is already looking to the establishing 
of another new branch of business, to be started here as soon 
as the proper means can be secured. If the East has any 
more such men send them on, Indianapolis will be thankful 
for them. 


The Rt. Rev'd Bishop Upfold, D. D., LL. D., was born at 
Themley Green, County of Surry, England, on the 7th of 
May, 1796. At six years of age he, with his parents, emigra- 
ted to America, arriving at their future home, Albany, New 
York, in July, 1802. After two years' preparation in Lan- 
singburgh Academy, he was entered a Freshman at Union 
College, Schenectady, N. Y., in September, 1810, where he 
graduated at a little over eighteen years of age in July, 1814. 

During College vacations he gave himself to the study of 
medicine, under the direction of Charles D. Townsend, M. D., 
of Albany, which he pursued after his graduation under Dr. 
Valentine Mott, of New York, and graduated at the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons in that city, receiving his degree 
of M. D. on the 7th of M;ty, 1816, his twentieth birth day. 

Bishop Upfold. 41 


His attention being soon directed to the work of the min- 
istry he was admitted a candidate for Holy Orders on the 18tli 
of October, 1818, and was ordained a Deacon by the Rt. Rev. 
John H. Hobart, D. D., Bishop of New York, having mean- 
while, on June 3d, 1817, been united in marriage to Sarah S. 

After serving as Minister of Trinity Church, Lansingburgh, 
and Grace Church, Waterford, he was advanced to the Priest- 
hood by Bishop Hobart in June, 1820, and in December of 
that year became the first Rector of St. Luke's Church, New 
York, ofiiciating also as an assistant minister of Trinity Church, 
New York, from 1821 to 1825. 

In March, 1828, he was instituted Rector of St. Thomas' 
Church, N, Y., which he resigned in 1831, and accepted a 
call to Trinity Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, having in 
August of that year received honorary degree of D. D. from 
Columbia College, N. Y. 

Here he remained until after his election and consecration 
as the first Bishop of Indiana. In 18-49 he removed with his 
family to this State, and in May, 1850, assumed the Rector- 
ship of St. John's Church, Lafayette, in connection with the 
duties of the Episcopate. In January, 1854. he resigned his 
parish to devote himself entirely to the duties of his Episco- 
pal office, and early in 1857 removed his residence to Indian- 

In 185G he received the honorary degree of LL. D. from 
the University of Pennsylvania. 

The subject of this brief sketch still survives, at the ad- 
vanced age of seventy-ibur years, but for several years past 
has. been entirely incapacitated for active labor. Full of years 
and full of honors, his sufi'erings are soothed by the tender 
care of her to whom in early youth he pledged his love. He 
has a cherished sentiment of piety, and there is a religious 
halo which sheds its light around him. He calmly awaits the 

414 Early Reminiscences. 

call of the Master to the higher ministry, which we trust 
awaits him in the Church triumphant above. 


Rt. Rev. Joseph C. Talbot, D. D., LL. D., was born in Al- 
exandria, Virginia, Sept. 5, 1816, of Quaker parents, and edu- 
cated at the Alexandria Academy. He removed to the West 
in 1835, and settled at Louisville, Ky., where for several years 
he was engaged in mercantile and banking pursuits. There 
he first became acquainted with the Episcopal Church, and 
was baptized in Christ's Church, Louisville, by the Rev. Wil- 
liam Jackson in 1837, and soon after confirmed by the Bishop 
of Kentucky, Rt. Rev. Dr. Smith. In the same parish in 
1838, was united to Anna M., only child of Captain Samuel 
Waris, U. S. N. 

In 1843 he became a candidate for Holy Orders, and was 
ordained Deacon by Rt. Rev. B. B. Smith, D. D., of Ken- 
tucky, September, 1846, and Priest September, 1848. 

With his Deaconate he commenced work for a third parish 
in Louisville, and soon founded and built St. John's Church, 
of which he remained the Rector for seven years. 

In January, 1853, he accepted a call to Christ's Church, 
Indianapolis, where he also continued seven years, until his 
consecration as Missionary Bishop of the Northwest February 
15, 1860. During his Rectorship the present beautiful stone 
church was erected for the parish. 

In 1854 he received from the Western University of Penn- 
sylvania the honorary degree of D. D., and in 1867 that of 
LL. D. from the University of Cambridge, England. 

In August, 1865, he was elected by a unanimous vote of 
the Convention Assistant Bishop of Indiana; and in October 
of that year returned to the Diocese in that capacity. 

He was one of the Council of Anglican Bishops that as- 
sembled at Lambeth, England, in 1867. 

Dr. Thomas B. Elliott. 415 

Bishop Talbot, at the age of fifty-three, is in full vigor of 
life, and bids fair for many years of usefulness in the good 
cause in which he is engaged. He is a man of great fertility 
of thought, with a cheerful and hopeful disposition, and is a 
very engaging speaker, and beloved by all who know him. 
He has charge of all the active duties of the Diocese of In- 
diana. We hope he may live until his hair is bleached b& 
white in the service as that of his venerable predecessor, our 
good Bishop Upfold- 


Has been recognized during the last fifteen years as one of 
the most enterprising, active and effective workers for the 
prosperity of the city. He is a native of Brockport, Mon- 
roe County, New York, where he was born July 20, 1825. 

He received a liberal education, having graduated at Ham- 
ilton College, New York, in 1845. He studied medicine with 
his father. Dr. John B, Elliott, who has been for some years 
past a venerable and much respected resident of this city, and 
has reached in good health and vigor the advanced age of 
eighty-one years. 

During the winter of 1846-7, T. B. Elliott attended his 
first course of medical lectures in the University of New 
York, then presided over by that eminent surgeon, Dr. Val- 
entine Mott. He continued his studies in New York and 
Brooklyn during the ensuing spring and summer. In the fall 
of 1847 and winter of 1848, he traveled in the Eastern States 
and Canada as agent for a New York publishing house, and 
during most of the year 1848 traveled through the i^^outheru 
and Western States, taking full manuscript notes of his trav- 
els, occasionally corresponding with Eastern newspapers. 

He attended his ^second term of medical lectures in the 
winter of 1849-50 at the Jefferson Medical College, Philadel- 
phia, where he graduated in the spring of 1850 with the de- 

416 Eorly Reminiscences, 

gree of M. D. He continued his studies in Boston, Massa- 
chusetts, during the next year, and in September and Novem- 
ber, 1850, he accepted an appointment as Assistant Physician 
in the Indiana Hospital for the Insane. He remained there 
four years, and discharged the duties of the position in a man- 
ner that secured the approval of all with whom he was asso- 

He was married in May, 1853, to Miss Helen Brown, of 
Goshen, Indiana, and in December, 1855, resigned his trust 
at the Hospital and commenced the practice of medicine in 
the city. He was two years physician to the county and three 
years Secretary to the State Medical Society. 

Having entire confidence in the rapid growth of the city, 
he invested all his means, from time to time, in out-lot pro- 
perty in the then suburbs of the city, which has since largely 
increased in value. 

In June, 1856, he aided in the organization of the Board 
of Trade, was elected Secretary, and issued a circular showing 
the advantages of the city for the various industries, which 
was published with a Railroad Map. 

In January, 1857, he presented to the Board of Trade an 
elaborate paper on " Indianapolis, its Besources or Advantages, 
Manufactures and Wants," which was printed in pamphlet 
form, by order of the Board, accompanied with a revised rail- 
road map, and several thousand copies were distributed among 
distant manufactories and artisans. The influence of these 
papers has been to establish here a number of our leading 

In 1858 he relinquished his profession and opened the large 
brick warehouse, No. 150 South Delaware street, and became 
a flour and grain merchant. 

He was the first merchant in this city to introduce shelling 
corn by steam power, and preparing and shipping it to the 
different markets. Previous to this time corn was only used 

Dr. Thomas B. Elliott. 417 

for feed and distillation. During the year 1859 Dr. P^lliott 
shelled, sacked and shipped over one hundred thousand bush- 
els to the markets East and South. At that time there were 
no through freight lines, and all grain was shipped in sacks 
or barrels. He conducted another flour and grain warehouse 
and elevator on the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad 
track, corner of Alabama street, that was burned in 18C6, 
about which time, owing to serious losses in business, he re- 
linquished warehousing. 

In 1863, as Chairman of a committee of citizens, he pre- 
pared and published a pamphlet setting forth the advantages 
of Indianapolis as the site of the new projected National Ar- 
senal. This was sent to each Senator and Representative in 
Congress, and had its influence in securing the location of that 
institution in this city. 

The Board of Trade, in 1856, had no claims to be consid- 
ered in any sense a Merchants' Exchange, it was substantially 
an advertising medium for the city. 

In 1864 Dr. Elliott, associated with a number of leading 
merchants, established the Board of Trade and Merchants' 
Exchange, and was elected its first President, which office he 
held until April, 1866, when he was succeeded by James C. 
Ferguson, Esq. 

In 1860 Dr. Elliott was elected one of the Trustees of the 
Public Schools, and, after years of labor, was appointed Pres- 
ident of the Board, which position he continued to hold, by 
successive appointments, until May, 1869. Our citizens are 
mainly indebted to his industry, persistence and foresight for 
the admirable school system which our city enjoys. In 1860 
there were not sufficient school buildings, and no adequate 
funds, and no regular superintendence, and more than fifty 
per cent, of the pupils of suitable age had no room in the 

Under the Presidency of Dr. Elliott Professor Shortridge 

418 Early Reminiscences. 

was appointed Superintendent, funds were raised by making 
a levy to the full extent of the law, and new, first-class school 
houses were built on the corner of Michigan and Blackford, 
Vermont and Davidson, and Union and McCarty streets, thus 
adding, with the re-arrangement of the old buildings, room 
for over two thousand children. The Second Presbyterian 
Church property, on the corner of Circle and Market streets, 
was also bought and a High School organized on a grand and 
liberal scale. Dr. Elliott has at all times cheerfully given 
whatever aid was in his power to all public enterprises. 


Was born in New Jersey "one morning quite early," and 
when a child came to Indiana. At the age of sixteen he en- 
gaged with Captain Tom Wright, on the old steamboat Wis- 
consin, and was gradually promoted from one place to another 
until he finally reached the pinnacle of steamboat position. 

After fifteen years of " Life upon the ocean wave," he aban- 
doned it, and came to Indianapolis and engaged in the family 
grocery business on East Washington street, but his steamboat 
fame had followed him. 

A company was formed, with him as one of the stockhold- 
ers, to build a steamboat to navigate the turbulent waters of 
White River. This monster of the deep was called " Gover- 
nor Morton," 

When the boat was finished Capt. Socwell was unanimously 
selected as her commander, which duty he performed with the 
skill and experience of an old navigator. 

On the trial trip to Cold Spring and back the boat was 
crowded from the hole to the hurricane deck. When but a 
few minutes out from port the cry of " man overboard " was 
heard. The Captain ordered the life-boat lowered; the man 
proved to be a fat Dutchman, who was hard aground laying 
upon his belly. 

Governor Conrad Baker. 419 

The next was a lady, who had stepped into the water up to 
her armpits. Captain S. cried to the bystanders to save that 
woman, as she was a young widow worth liulf a million of 

One of the proprietors of the "Journal," (Mr. Samuel 
Douglass) who has for sometime been a candidate for matri- 
mony, was standing by and confirmed what the Captain said, 
and let the golden opportunity slip through his hands. An 
old widower, whose head had been whitened by the frost of 
some seventy winters, plunged in, saved the widow, won her 
heart, if not the half million, and they were shortly after 
married. "There's a divinity that shapes our ends rough 
hew them as we will." For particulars call on the Captain. 

Captain Socwell has navigated his dry land craft to much 
advantage, and is yet one of the popular family grocers of 
the city. 

He is just the man to keep such an establishment, good- 
looking, pleasant manners, accommodating disposition, fond 
of a joke, and will generally he found with a large and select 
assortment of goods, and will never be caught placing light 
weights in the widow's basket. May his business craft never 
be stranded. 


It is but seldom that a public man reaches the highest posi- 
tion in the gift of the people of his State without the tongue 
of defamation or vituperation being hurled at him by his po- 
litical opponents, especially when the passions and prejudices 
of the people are excited to the utmost tension, as was the 
case during the Gubernatorial canvass of 18G8, which was but 
a month previous to that of the Presidential, when both 
political parties were straining every nerve, but such was the 
fact, that not the least charge of private or public misconduct 
was laid at the door of Governor Baker, althou<rh he had been 

420 Early Reminiscences. 

the acting chief executive of the State for sometime. His 
administration had been characterized as an upright, honest 
and conscientious one, so much so that his honorable oppo- 
nent found nothing to attack but the measures of the party 
of which Governor Baker was the chosen representative. 

Conrad Baker is a native of the Key Stone State, born in 
Franklin County on the 12th of February, 1817; was educa- 
ted at the Pennsylvania College at Gettysburgh, Pennsylva- 
nia ; studied law in the office of Stevens & Smyser, the firm 
consisting of the late Thaddeus Stevens and Judge Daniel M. 
Smyser. He was admitted to the bar in the spring of 1839, 
at Gettysburg, and practiced at that place for two years. 

He emigrated West and settled at Evansville in 1841, where 
he has ever since resided until the office of Governor devolved 
upon him, in January, 1867, by the election of Governor Mor- 
ton to the Senate of the United States, since which time he 
has resided at Indianapolis, 

He was elected in 1845 to represent Vanderburgh County 
in the General Assembly and served one term ; was elected 
Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the district com- 
prising the counties of Warrick and Vanderburgh in 1852, 
and served about eighteen months, when he resigned. He 
was nominated for Lieutenant Governor, without his know- 
ledge and without having sought the nomination, by the Re- 
publican party in 1856, on the ticket which was headed by 
Governor Morton as the candidate for Governor. Morton and 
Baker were defeated, and Willard and Hammond were elected. 

He was commissioned in 1861 Colonel of the First Indiana 
Cavalry, 28th Regiment Indiana Volunteers, and served as 
such for over three years. 

From August, 1861, to April, 1863, he commanded either 
his own Regiment or a Brigade in the field in Missouri, Ar- 
kansas and Mississippi. 

In April, 1863, an order from the Secretary of War reached 

Governor Conrad Baker, 421 

him by telegraph at Helena, Arkansas, requiring him to pro- 
ceed forthwith to Indianapolis, Indiana, and report to the Pro- 
vost Marshal General. He obeyed the order, and on his ar- 
rival at Indianapolis he received an order detailing him to act 
as Assistant Provost Marshal General for the State of Indi- 
ana, and as such to organize the Provost Marshal General's 
Bureau in this State. 

He performed the duties of Provost Marshal General, Su- 
perintendent of Volunteer Ilecruiting and Chief Mustering 
Officer until August, 1864, when his term of military service 
having expired he was relieved at his own request, and a few 
weeks afterwards he, together with his regiment, was mus- 
tered out of service. 

The liepublican Convention, which met in 1864, nominated 
Governor Morton for re-election, and nominated General Na- 
than Kimball, who was in the field, for the office of Lieuten- 
ant Governor. General Kimball declined the nomination, and 
thereupon the Republican State Central Committee, without 
his being a candidate or applicant for the position, unani- 
mously tendered him the nomination for Lieutenant Governor. 
In 1865 Governor Morton convened the General Assembly in 
special session, and immediately after the delivery of his mes- 
sage started for Europe, in quest of health, leaving Governor 
Baker in charge of the administration of the Executive De- 
partment of the State Government. Governor 3Iortou was 
absent for five months, during which time Governor Baker 
performed the duties of Governor. In February, 1867, (Jov- 
ernor Morton was elected to the Senate of the United States, 
and the duties of Governor devolved upon Governor leaker. 

He was unanimously re-nominated by the liepublican Con- 
vention of 18(58 for Governor, and was elected over the Hon. 
Thomas A. Hendricks (one of the most popular men of the 
State) by the small majority of 961 votes. 

This canvass was coiiductod bv those two «j:(M)tl<'nu'M with 

422 Early Reminiscences. 

the best of feeling personally toward each other, nothing hav- 
ing occurred to mar the good feeling, or the social relations 
existing between them, each party having their ablest expo- 
Dents of their measures. 

There is yet, fresh in the minds of the people, a circum- 
stance that shows that Governor Baker can not be approached 
with a proposition in " indecent haste,^^ which if entertained 
by him would be derogatory to him as a gentleman, and be- 
neath the dignity of the Chief Executive of the State. 

In saying this of one of Indiana's purest public men and 
popular Governor, the writer can not be charged with being 
influenced by party considerations, but a desire to " render 
therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto 
God the things which are God's." 


Mr. English is a native of Kentucky, but removed to Scott 
County, Indiana, about the year 1818. He has made that 
county his residence ever since, although temporarily residing 
in Indianapolis at present, and a frequent visitor to this place 
for the last forty years. In fact, during a great portion of 
that long period, he has been in attendance during the session 
of the Legislature either as a member of the House of Rep- 
resentatives or a Senator, having probably served in that ca- 
pacity a greater number of sessions, and covering a longer 
period of time than any man now living. We distinctly re- 
member Major English as a member of the Legislature from 
Scott County nearly forty years ago, about the outgoing of 
James B. Ray and the incoming of Noah Noble as Governor; 
when his associates in the House were James Rariden, George 
H. Dunn, John Vawter, Elish M. Huntington, Geo. H. Profitt, 
Sam.uel Bigger, Caleb B. Smith, John H. Thompson, Joseph 
A. Wright, Amos Lane, and others who made some mark in 
the world, but have passed away. In fact, of his earlier asso- 

Mayor Macaidey, 423 

dates in the Legislature, but few are now living. He is one 
of the few links in the chain remaining that connects the early 
history of the State with the present. He was for several 
years United States Marshal for the State of Indiana, and 
under his administration of that office the census of the State 
was taken in 1860. He was several times sheriff of his county 
and held many other official positions, showing that he always 
had the confidence of the people who best knew him. 

A man of pretty strong prejudices, and an earnest hater 
where he does hate, he is nevertheless a man of the kindest 
and most charitable disposition, and particularly devoted to 
his friends. 

During Major English's long public career he was a promi- 
nent and leading man with his party, and his public life was 
characterized by honesty of purpose, fidelity to his principles, 
pursuing at the same time an open, frank and upright course to- 
ward his political opponents. He was a supporter of General 
Jackson, " the Sage of the Hermitage," and has ever contin- 
ued a member of the Democratic party. 

Although now advanced in years he retains a great deal of 
the activity and vivacity of his youthful days. Without the 
benefit of an early education, and a self-made man in all res- 
pects, his career, as well as his person, clearly indicate that 
his is "a sound mind in a sound body." 

His only son is our fellow-citizen, Hon. William H. Eng- 
lish, long a Representative in Congress from the southern por- 
tion of this State, and now President of the First National 


Daniel Macauley, the present Mayor of Indianapolis, is a 
native of the Empire City, born in New York on the 8th of 
September, 1839, of Irish parentage. 

When he was seven years of age his parents removod to 

424 Early Beminiscences. 

Buffalo, where his father died of cholera in August, 1849. 
He was then apprenticed to learn the book-binding business, 
and there worked at his trade, with but few years intermission, 
until 1860, when he came to Indianapolis. He then worked 
for Messrs. Bingham & Doughty in the Sentinel Book-Bind- 
ing Establishment until the beginning of the war in 1861. 
He at once entered as a private in the " Indianapolis Zouaves," 
and was elected First Lieutenant of the Company, which was 
assigned to the 11th Indiana Kegiment, commanded by Col. 
Lew Wallace. He was appointed by Col. Wallace Adjutant 
before the Regiment left for the field. In one year he was 
made Major. In September, 1862, was made Lieutenant-Col- 
onel; in March, 1863, Colonel, and was twice brevetted Briga- 
dier General for services in battle ; was in command of a Brig- 
ade about one year ; was twice severely wounded, once through 
the thigh during the battle before Vicksburg, and again ou 
the day of " Sheridan's ride " at Cedar I reek, Virginia, in the 
hip, this last bullet remaining in his body beyond the reach 
of extraction. 

He was constantly in service for five years, with the excep- 
tion of thirty days.. He was at Donaldson, Shiloh, the siege 
of Vicksburg ; with Banks in Louisiana, Sheridan in the Shen- 
andoah Valley, and in all the battles and campaigns in which 
the Regiment participated. 

Mayor Macauley was married March 26, 1863, and while in 
the army, to the daughter of Rev. A. S. Ames, and when the 
war was over he again engaged in the book-binding business. 

In April, 1867, he was nominated by the Republican party 
as their candidate for Mayor of this city and elected in May, 
and in April, 1869, was re-nominated and re-elected for ano- 
ther term of two years. 

The reader will readily perceive that Mayor Macauley has 
been the architect of his own fortune, and has rose quite 
early in life to a high and responsible position, and possesses 

Joseph and Morris Solomon. 425 

in a high degree the requisite qualifications for the trust re- 
posed in him. 

He is a man of pleasing and agreeable manners, and in his 
intercourse with his subordinate officials seems void of that 
vanity too often found in persons who reach high positions 
early in life ; this fact renders him quite popular with his col- 
leagues in the city government. Amid the " noise and con- 
fusion " that is sometimes observed in the Council as well as 
in other deliberative bodies, the sound of his hammer never 
fails to restore order and decorum. 


These gentlemen were the first to hang out the three brass, 
or golden colored balls, in Indianapolis, and the first in the 
State to do a regular pawnbroking business; although it 
has been done in this place in a private way since Jacob 
Landis advanced twenty dollars to a needy painter, on a half 
bushel of White River bottom corn, supposing the box to 
contain the honest mechanic's tools. 

We are aware that there is an unfounded prejudice against 
this branch of business, but it is generally found amoiig that 
class of citizens whose necessities never require them to 
borrow such small amounts as are loaned by the pawnbroker. 
Still the small dealers sometimes find the pawnbroker's office 
very convenient, and apply to them for aid. For instance he 
has a note due in bank for three hundred dollars and has 
exhausted all his immediate resources, and yet lacks twenty- 
five dollars, he wishes to keep his credit good for future ac- 
commodations, he might, as iar as credit is concerned, let it 
all lay over as to lack the twenty-five dollars. He has a fine 
watch which he can do without the use of ibr a few days ; 
he takes it to the broker, raises the money, pays the whole 
note, saves his credit, saves the cost of protest, which would 

426 Early Reminiscences. 

amount to as much, if not more than he would have to pay 
for the use of the money. 

Again, he might be caught from home without money or 
friends, and unfortunately gets into trouble, no difference 
what causes it, it is enough to know he is in trouble and 
among strangers, and wishes to get out as easy and favorably 
as possible, to write home would render his family uneasy, 
while at the same time if he was there he could raise the 
amount without any difficulty. Suppose he should Avait for 
the answer ; his hotel bill would be treble what he would have 
to pay the pawnbroker for the use of the money, he has a 
diamond pin. he takes it to the broker and receives on it the 
amount he wants and goes home. Wheu once at home he 
quickly raises the money and sends by express for his diamond, 
without his friends or the public knowing his trouble, conse- 
quently saving exposure and mortification. 

In the year 18-43 the writer arrived in Memphis, Tennessee, 
on board a steamboat with about sixty horses, and having 
been detained on the river longer than it was expected, and 
the transportation more than he had provided for, found him- 
self without a wu marke, what to do I knew not; although 
well aware that I would soon realize all I needed from the 
sale of horses, but persons knowing my situation would take 
advantage of it. At that time I did not know what a pawn- 
broker's shop was. My friend who was assisting me in the 
sale of the horses had had some experience in that way before. 
He was the owner of a gold watch worth some two hundred 
dollars. He seemed amused at my uneasiness, but soon after 
landing, and without telling me what he intended to do, we 
stepped into an office, the sign of which was three brass balls, 
he pulled out his watch and received one hundred dollars, 
which certainly made me feel one thousand dollars better off, 
and greatly relieved my mind. The interest we paid was 
nothing compared to the accommodation we received. No 

Joseph and Morris Solomon, A!1*J 

one but the broker knew our situation, consequently no 
advantage was taken of it. 

But there are other and equally beneficial cases when the 
pawnbroker is useful, a mechanic or laboring man may be 
sick ; Saturday evening finds him without his weekly stipend 
for the support of his family. What are they to do ? His 
house is well provided with the necessary furniture that per- 
tains to house keeping, but his children can not eat the furni- 
ture, neither will the corner grocer take it for his coflFee, sugar, 
butter and other necessaries for the use of his family, if he 
did it would be at a ruinous sacrifice. What is he to do ? 
His children must bo fed ; his wife takes some article, the use 
of which could be dispensed with until the next Saturday night, 
to the Messrs. Solomon, and gets money enough to purchase 
what they need for the present, I have no doubt those 
gentlemen have relieved hundreds of similar cases to this. 

I am aware that it would not do to make a business of 
borrowing large sums I'rom pawnbrokers at their usual rates 
of interest. No sensible man would pretend to use the ac- 
commodations of the pawnbroker as they would that of 
the banker who loans large amounts for the use of specula- 
tion and at comparative small interest, but to the laboring or 
poorer classes the broker is as useful as the banker is to the 
wealthier, and perhaps relieve more real want and misery. 

In " Harper's New Monthly " for June, I find an article 
on " Pawnbroking" that gives it great antiquity and origin- 
ating under the Mosaic Law, and has been considered in all 
ages and countries useful and handed down to the present 
generation, and especially to Indianapolis, in the persons of 
J. & M. Solomon. 

From that article I copy to show the delusion that many 
persons are under in regard to their legitimate business : 
" It is not so often as in popularity supposed, perhaps, that 

428 Early Reminiscences. 

the licensed pawnbrokers are brought under tlie eye op the 
legal authorities as receivers of stolen goods. 

"Not only does their accountability to the police exercise 
a wholesome influence, but their liability to the uwners 
of goods, fraudulently obtained, has a tendency to render 
them careful, even if they were otherwise disposed to be un- 
mindful of their duties as citizens, and their acquaintance 
with certain goods of our criminal population is such that 
they are not likely to be made the unwitting accomplices of 
even petty theft. 

" Moreover the spoils obtained by the more active thieves 
of the metropolis are generally of a nature and value to call 
for the services of a different class of men, some of whom 
may be herein mentioned." 

This article of the New Monthly goes on to show that a 
very small part of the pawnbroking business of New York is 
done by the licensed broker, and that that part that is done 
with thieves and their accomplices is a different kind of 
persons no better than the thief himself, and their business 
generally transacted in dark alleys, garrets or out of the way 
places, not where the three balls hang conspicuous above the 

This much I have thought proper to say in behalf of those 
worthy citizens. 

Messrs. Solomon tell me they were originally from Lon- 
don, but more directly from Philadelphia to this city, about 
ten years since. For awhile they were in the tobacco business, 
but for the last five or six years in that of which I have been 
writing. In their store, No. 25, South Illinois Street, just 
south of the "Palmer House," may be found almost every 
article of necessity or utility. 

" From a cambric needle to a crowbar, 
A penny pitcher, or two-penny jar." 

Messrs. Solomon belong to that highly respectable class of 

Daniel M. Ransdell 429 

citizens known as Hebrews, which Gentiles call Jews. They 
have been very active and energetic in the interest and con- 
tribution to the building of their beautiful temple of worship, 
the "Synagogue," which is an ornament to our city and a 
credit to them as a religious denomination. 

They have by their kind and obliging disposition, their 
gentlemanly bearing and manners won the respect, and enjoy 
the confidence of our business community, and their social 
qualities make them ever welcome at our firesides. 


The present efficient Clerk of the city, is a native of this (Ma- 
rion) County, born on the 15th of June, 1852, and educated 
at the Franklin College, Johnson College, Indiana. 

In the war for the preservation of the Union he entered 
the service as a private, on the 28th of July, 1802, and served 
as such until wounded on the 15th of May, 1864, by which 
he lost his right arm. 

By this misfortune, though a severe one, he was not de- 
terred from making himself useful to the public; he at once 
set to work to learn to write with his left hand, which he ac- 
complished very readily, and now writes a fine business hand. 

He was elected to the office of City Clerk on the first Tues- 
day of May, 1807, and re-elected to the same office on the 
first Tuesday in May, 1809. This position he has now filled 
three years, and to the entire satisfaction of the public. 

He is an efficient worker in the Sunday Schools of the city 
and in the cause of all religious or benevolent institutions 

" May ne'er misfortune's Rrowlinp bark 
Howl thro' the dwelling O' tlie Clerk. 
May ne'er liis generous, honest heart. 
For that same gen'rous spirit smart *' 

430 Early Reminiscences. 


Has been a prominent business man of Indianapolis for over 
forty years. He came to this place in the year 1826 quite a 
young man, and for several years worked at his trade, or 
rather the profession of a printer, in the office of the "Indiana 
Journal," when that paper was controlled and owned by 
Douglass & Maguire. 

About the year 1832 he engaged with the late Caleb Scud- 
der in the drug business, and continued it for several years. 
They also erected a carding machine and oil mill on the arm 
of the Canul at its junction with White River ; here was man- 
ufactured the first flax seed oil in this part of the country. 

Mr. Hannaman was for many years School Commissioner, 
a Director of the Branch of the State Bank of Indiana loca- 
ted at this place. Trustee of the State University, and during 
the war Sanitary Agent for Indiana. He has been connected 
with many of our benevolent and charitable institutions and 
always gave his aid and influence to any enterprise calculated 
to redound to the benefit of the city and the public at large. 
He is yet one of our active business men, and resides in the 
suburbs of the city. At the present time he is connected 
with his son in the drufr business on the northwest corner of 
Washington land Delaware streets. 



Who has been a master carpenter of this city for thirty years, 
is a native of the Blue Grass region of Kentucky, was born 
and resided in Fayette County until his eighteenth year. 

In 1830 he came to this (Marion) County, and for ten years 
farmed about four miles southeast of the city on Lick Creek. 

In 1840 he came to the city, since which time he has been 
one of the working mechanics of the place. 

In 1862 he was appointed city Street Commissioner, served 

Corson Vickers. 431 

one term of two years, and made a faithful and energetic offi- 
cer, always performing his duty to the letter. 

Mr. Kemper is a member of the First JJaptist Church of 
this city; his countenance, as well as his name, has been 
familiar to the writer for forty years, and we have ever re- 
garded him as an upright, honest and conscientious man, 
which is proven by his every day walk in life. He resides 
and owns some valuable property on the northwest corner of 
South and New Jersey streets, where has been his home some 
twenty-eight years. 


Was a well known citizen of Indianapolis for several years. 
He was from Campbell County, Kentucky, to this place in 
1827, when he was quite a boy. 

Soon after he came here he engaged with Thomas M. Smith 
and learned the tailoring business. After his apprenticeship 
was finished he worked at his trade a few years. He then 
engaged in merchandising and was a successful merchant. 

After this he was elected sheriff of the county and collec- 
tor of the State and county revenue. This office he held two 
terms, or four years. He then became a stockholder and di- 
rector of the Indianapolis Insurance Company, an institution 
that did a money brokerage business. 

Mr. Vickers was an energetic, industrious man, and accu- 
mulated property rapidly. He died in May, 1843, at the age 
of thirty-four years. 

His second wife was the niece of the lion. Nathan T? Pal- 
mer. By her he left two children, a sou and a daughter, who 
are yet residents of the city. 

The son, William B. Vickers, is the proprietor and editor 
of the "Saturday Evening l\[irror. " The daughter is the 
widow of Lieutenant Colonel Richard O'Neal, late of the 2()th 

432 Early Reminiscences. 

Regiment Indiana Volunteers. Colonel O'Neal served about 
fifteen months at the beginning of the rebellion. He died at 
his residence in this city January, 1863. 


Mr. Browning is a native of Culpepper County, Virginia, 
but came to Mason County, Kentucky, when a child, and was 
there raised. 

After keeping a hotel in West Union, Columbus, and Day- 
ton, Ohio, he came to this place in the fall of 1836, and for 
about thirteen years kept the Washington Hall. 

Mr. Browning was ever a popular hotel keeper, and his 
house was the W^hig headquarters of this place, and for mem- 
bers of the Legislature, so long as he kept it. 

He retired from hotel-keeping some twenty years since, and 
has for several years been the Register of the Land Office in 
this place. 

Although he has passed his three-score and ten years, he 
is yet quite active, and may be seen on our streets daily, as 
has been his wont for the last thirty-four years. 


These two young Bavarians, Jos. Schwabacher and Abram 
Isaac Jacob Selig, came to this city in the year 1866, and im- 
mediately engaged in the wholesale liquor business. 

They were directly from Peoria, Illinois, where they were 
engaged in the same business for a short time. 

Since they became residents of Indianapolis they have suc- 
ceeded in building up a fine trade. Although this city was 
pretty well supplied with similar business establishments, they 
have now a trade throughout this as well as other more West- 
ern States. 

Since he became a resident of this city Mr. Schwabacher 
has taken a life partner in the person of Miss Matilda Bakrow, 

Dr. James Ellerhy. 433 

one of the belles of Louisville, Kentucky, and dau«rhter of 
the lute John Bakrow, who was a well-known and wealthy 
dry goods merchant of that city. 

Mr. Selig too, like Isaac of old, has found his "Kebekah," 
whether she was found by his father's servants drawing water 
at the well I have no means of knowing, but like Kebekah, 
is perhaps willing to draw water for Isaac's camels. Suffice 
it to say, he sought and found a prize of inestimable value. 
May their young loves never be sullied, their lives o'er cast 
or darkened by sorrow. 


Indianapolis has ever been blessed with a superabundance 
of piijsicians of both high and low degree, from the graduates 
of the best Medical Institutions in the world, through all the 
different systems of practice ; Irom Allopathy, Homeopathy, 
Hydropathy down to that of the " Indian Yerb Doctor."' 
But we never had a regular graduate of a Veterinary Institu- 
tion to make this city his residence until Doctor Ellerby made 
this his home in 1858. 

Doctor EUerby is a native of Yorkshire, England, and a 
regular graduate of the " Royal Veterinary College," of 
London, and practiced his profession in Europe until 184'J, 
at which time he came to the United States and commenced 
the practice of his profession in this city in 1858, and 1 un- 
derstand with great success. 

Next to the health and life of our fellow creatures is 
that of the noble animal, the horse, whose health and life 
should be only secondary to that of the human. [ am told 
that Doctor Ellerby detects the premonitory symptoms of 
disease in the horse with the certainty and aptness that our 
best physicians do in the human system. 


434 Early Reminiscences^ 


This accomplished and well-known writer, with the family 
of her father, (Benjamin Ream) came to this place when she 
was quite a child. They were direct from Lebanon, Ohio, 
where, I think she was born. 

Soon after their arrival here she was sent to the Episcopal 
Female School, of this city, where she received such instruc- 
tions as was common for children of that day, to prepare them 
for the higher branches of education. She was then sent to 
the Catholic Female Seminary, at Nazareth, near Bardstown, 
Kentucky, where she finished her studies. 

Soon after her return from the later Institution she was de- 
prived of a father's love and tenderuess by his death ; her 
mother soon following. Then she was left alone with a widowed 
sister and a young brother. In the year 1855 her sister died 
and she was almost alone in the world as fir as female relations 
were concerned, true she had an aunt, the wife of Mr. Obadiah 
Harris, who lived in the country. 

After the death of her sister she resided with a friend, Mrs. 
Doctor Livingston Dunlap, where she has ever since made 
her home. 

She had a small income left her by her father, which, by 
economy would eke out a living. This sujB&ced for a while, 
but her proud spirit wished for something more. 

It was known to her friends that she possessed abilities of 
the higher order, but she had never attempted to put them to 
any use calculated to benefit her in a pecuniary way. Shaks- 
pear says ; 

" Our doubts are traitors, 
And make us lose the g»od we oft might win, 
By fearing to attempt." 

But at last she did attempt, and has proved successful, as 
the reading public are already aware. She commenced writing- 
first for our city papers, then occasionally for the Cincinnati 

Laura Ream. 435 

papers. Among her writings for the city papers was a novel, 
" Phebe Doyl," which was read by the ladies with a great 
deal of* interest. Now she i^ the news correspondent of the 
" Cincinnati Daily Commercial." 

Miss Ream is about the medium height, with a symetrical 
well developed form, black hair, a full dark eye, with heavy 
eye lashes, aquiline nose, brunett complexion, and with a 
mild, benevolent expression, and intelligent countenance, and 
would at once attract attention in any assemblage. She is 
altogether a fine looking lady, and by some would be called 

Her dress is generally of fine material and made in the 
most fashionable style, but it is worn in such a manner 
(although properly) to at once lead a person to believe her 
mind was not upon dress. The fit of the gaiter, the color of 
the gloves, the elaborate embroidery of the French collar, but 
upon something of i'ar more importance. Tn her conversation 
as well as in her writing, she is plain and frank, and calls 
things by their right names. 

There is none of that aifected modesty or prudery either 
in her conversation or writings too common among females. 
She would not blush to see the legs of a piano without panta- 
letts on, or refuse to make her toilet in the presence of pota- 
toes because they have eyes. She has a great deal of common 
sense, and it is observable in her every act. 

Miss Keam, like other mortals, no doubt is subject to her 
sad as well as pleasant moments, and recurs often to her child- 
ish and far gone days, when the voices of father, mother, 
brother and sister were familiar to her ears, all (save one) are 
now hushed in death, and the circle that once gathered around 
the family hearth is broken up. her brother and herself are 
all that are left, and in her quiet hours no doubt her thoughts 
are carried back when she and her brothers and sister, with 
father and mother attended the primitive church, and when 

436 Early Reminiscences, 

with her brother and sister she was in daily attendance at the 
not to be forgotten school house, where she received her first 
lessons she has profited by, and turned to her own account 
and credit. 

She has associated widely with the outside world, and 
knows it in all its phases, no doubt she takes a solemn pleas- 
ure in looking over her past life, and thinking of her many 
departed friends and acquaintances as they pass in review 
before her mind, but " Earth has no sorrow which Heaven 
can not cure." No doubt those reflections in all their green 
and hallowed associations will rush upon her heart and in her 
melancholy as well as happy moments, and like pleasant 
dreams for awhile leave a ray of sunshine behind. 

What we have said of Miss Ream in this sketch are our 
opinions, founded upon an acquaintance with her from her 
earliest childhood. 


The present and seventh Clerk of the Marion Circuit 
Court and County, was born in Perry Township, December 3, 
1838, he has descended from the two different families of 
Smocks, who were among the first settlers of the county. 

His grand father on his mother's side, John Smock bought 
at the Brookville land sale in 1821. the first quarter section 
of land south of Pleasant Run, on the Madison State Road, 
about one mile south of the donation line. This he improved 
and lived on until his death in 1827. This farm is now owned 
by John Heofgen. 

His father, Isaac Smock, was the brother of Simon Smock, 
who lived about one mile south of John Smock, another 
brother of his father. Captain Jacob Smock lived just north 
of Southport. 

Those several families of Smocks, and Brewers that had 
intermarried with them, formed almost the entire population 

William C. Smock. 437 

on the Madison State Road for twelve or fifteen miles south. 
So they were called Smocks and half Smocks. Now we not 
only have Smocks and half Smocks but in the person of our 
Clerk we have a double Smock. 

The family on the father's side of William C. Smock were 
mostly Presbyterians, and their church at Greenwood was 
generally filled by Smocks and Brewers. On liis mother's 
side they were Babtists, and their church on Lick Creek, about 
four miles southeast of town, and where Abram Smock, his 
grandfather's brother preached, was generally filled with 
Smocks, Smalls, Fences, Seburns and Woodfills. The two 
families of Smocks were mostly from the counties of Henry 
and Shelby, Kentucky, and left that State in consequence of 
slavery, desiring to raise their families in a free State, 

The Smocks and Brewers were honest, upright and suc- 
cessful farmers, and did a great deal toward making the 
southern portion of this county what it is to-day. 

But I have digressed and will return to the subject of this 
sketch. At the age of fifteen years William C. Smock entered 
the Recorder's Office as Deputy, under the late Dr. A. G. 
Wallace, who was then Recorder of the County, in this 
capacity he remained nearly two years, accumulating a small 
sum of money with which he designed qualifying himself for 
higher and more responsible duties. 

He then became a student of the Franklin (Johnson 
County) College, and there remained four Collegiate Terms. 

In 18G() he engaged with John C. New as a Deputy in the 
office of Clerk of the Marion Circuit and Common Fleas 

In 18G2, and at the age of tw^enty-three he received the 
nomination of the Republican party for the office of Recorder 
for the County, a coalition having been formed between the 
Republican and that portion of the Democratic party 
favored a vigorous prosecution of the war, and it being desir- 

438 Early Reminiscences. 

able in order to secure harmony and unity of action that 
the County offices should be divided. Mr. Smock very mag- 
nanimously declined the nomination, that the object should 
be effected. 

This was a rare case when the nominee of the dominant 
party surrenders the nomination of a lucrative office for the 
benefit of the whole party. 

In 1865 he was nominated by the same party as its candidate 
for Clerk of the County, and was elected without opposition, 
equally as rare a case as the first, being the first instance of 
the kind in the history of the Couuty, where a candidate for 
a County office ran without an opponent. 

In 1869 the Legislature passed an act known as the 
" Biennial Election Bill," whereby one year was added to 
the official term of his office. The term of his office will 
expire in October, 1870, of course he will retire, not being a 

The citizens of Marion County have been peculiarly fortu- 
nate in the selection of their Clerks, from the first the vener- 
able James M. Bay, elected in the year 1822 ; he was suc- 
ceeded by his Deputy, Joseph M. Moore, by appointment; 
then Bobert B. Duncan ; he by William Stewart ; then John 
C. New; then William Wallace. Men whose capacity and 
integrity were not questioned, and performed their duties to 
the satisfaction of their many friends and the public. But 
we doubt if any gave more satisfaction to the public, or re- 
tired from the office with more personal friends than will 
William C. Smock. 

In Mr. Smock's character is exemplified the influence of 
christian parents in forming the morals and religion of their 
children, he adheres to the church of his mother, and is a 
member of the First Baptist Church of this city. 

He is also an active member of the " Young Men's Chris- 
tian Association," an organization that knows no sect or 

Hon. Michael G. Bright. 439 

particular religious faith, and is doing uiuch for the cause of 
true religion by uniting the different brandies of the church 
in the common cause, and putting down Sectarianism. 


We remember Mr. Bright as a regular attendant upon the 
session of the United States and Supreme Courts of the State, 
at this place, near forty years ago. He has been a prominent 
man and lawyer of the State from his earliest manhood. 

He was the compeer and associate in the practice of law, of 
Charles Dewey Joseph G. Marshall, Oliver H. and Caleb B. 
Smith, George G. Dunn, Samuel Judah, General Tighlman 
A. Howard, Governor James Whitcomb, Amos Lane, Philip 
Sweetzer and many other distinguished lawyers, all of whom 
have passed away, and Mr. Bright is left as a living evidence 
of the great legal ability and talent of the Indiana bar thirty 
years ago. 

Mr. B. was never an office seeker, yet he has held some very 
important ones; he was several times elected to represent his 
county (Jefferson) in the Legislature, though that county was 
opposed to him upon national questions. He was a member 
of the Constitutional Convention which framed the present 
Constitution of the State, selected for his well-known legal 
ability, and the people are indebted to him for some of the 
popular and wholesome provisions of that instrument. He 
was for many years one of the State Fund Commissioners, 
and negotiated some heavy and important loans for the State. 

Mr. Bright has ever been an active and energetic man, 
taking a lively interest in railroads and other improvements 
calculated to benefit the public and the State. 

lie has lately retired from active life, more in consequence 
of the feeble state of his health than of his ago. 

Since his retirement he has made Indianapolis his residence. 
Mr. Bright is the father of the energetic proprietor 

440 Early Reminiscences. 


Of the Sentinel Printing Establishment, which he has made 
one of the most complete in all its appointmerits of any 
similar establishment in the Western country. From his 
newspaper presses are issued two Dailies and one Weekly 
paper. Connected with it he has also an extensive Book 
Publishing and Job Office and Bindery, and guarantees work 
of the best material and modern style. 

Richard J. Bright is a ftiir type in energy and industry of 
what his father was at his age, and resembles him very much 
in personal appearance. 

Joseph J. Bingham is the leading and political editor of 
the Sentinel, and is too well known to the reading public as 
a political writer to require any eulogium from my pen. 

The local and city department of the Sentinel is under the 
control of William ^. Winter, of Columbus, Indiana, and John 
Brough, son of the late John Brough, Ex-Governor of Ohio. 
Their department also speaks for itself, and the local columns 
of the Sentinel never fail to give its patrons the latest and 
most interesting city news in a style pleasing to the reader. 

The " Evening News " is the other paper published at Mr. 
B.'s establishment, and edited by John H. Holliday, quite a 
young man and a native of Indianapolis. The appearance of 
the News is looked for with a great deal of interest by its 
numerous readers and patrons. 

How different is this Sentinel establishment from the one it 
emanated from, the office of the "Indianapolis Gazette." 
The first number of the Gazette made its appearance on the 
28th of January, 1822, and was issued from a log cabin that 
stood about the center of the square, between the canal and 
West streets, Washington and Maryland, this cabin was about 
fifteen by eighteen feet square, and served the proprietors 
(Smith & Bolton) as a residence as well as a printing office. 

Bon. L'dlard lUckets. 441 

This was the first printing establislinient iu the " New Pur- 
cliase," and has changed proprietors, names and editors, 
until we now have it as the " Indianapolis Daily Sentinel." 
The building remodeled and now occupied as the Sentinel 
building was built and occupied for several years by the 
Wesley Methodist congregation which was the first Methodist 
congregation organized in the " New Purchase," and the 
second of any kind in Indianapolis. 


Has been a citizen of Indianapolis since 1867, although he 
has been well known to our prominent citizens for many years. 
He is a native of Kentucky, born in Clark county, but lived 
some time in Henry county previous to coming to Madison, 
his first residence in Indiana. 

He was for several years a successful merchant of Edinburg, 
and while residing there represented Johnson county in the 
State Senate. 

He was for several years extensively engaged in the pur- 
chase and packing of pork, at JefFersonville, and did a larger 
business in that way than any other person iu the State at 
that time. 

Several years since he was selected as the President of the 
JefFersonville and Indianapolis llailroad Company, and at a 
time its stock was scarcely worth ten cents on the dollar. 

Since his Presidency it has gradually advanced in value 
until it is now at a large premium. Although the Company 
have purchased the Madison and Indianapolis Kailroad and 
built lateral branches of their own road. One from Columbus 
to Cambridge City, another from Jeflfcrsonville to Now 

Mr. llickctts and Samuel II. l^itterson, ol" Jetiersonville. 
as the representatives of the Eailroad were active in procur- 
ing the buildin"- of the llailroad bridge across the Ohio river 

442 Early Reminiscences. 

at the southerii terminus of their road, and to them Indiana 
and the country is mostly indebted for uniting New York 
with New Orleans by one continuous and unbroken chain of 
Railroad communication through our State. 

Mr. R. has ever been an active and energetic man, contrib- 
uting largely to the great prosperity of the State. 

He possesses a frank and manly bearing and a dignified 
kindness calculated to win upon those that he is thrown in 
contact with. 

His estimable lady is the second daughter of the Hon. 
David W. Daily of Clark county, who for many years repre- 
sented that county in the State Senate. We remember him 
as one of the firm friends of the administration of General 
Jackson during his Presidency. Mrs. Ricketts has two 
brothers well known to our citizens, the first Harry Daily, son- 
in-law of the late Judge Morrison, is a resident of the city. 
The second brother, Thomas Daily, is the popular conductor 
of the passenger train on the JeflFersonville and Indianapolis 

Mr. Ricketts owns and resides on those beautiful grounds 
that were the homestead of the late Judge B. F. Morris, in 
the southern part of the city, on Madison Avenue. 

Forty years ago there stood there a heavy and beautiful 
sugar grove, and it was a place of general resort by the 
beaux and belles of the village, and by them called " Lover's 
Green." It is no less beautiful now, although some of the 
stately sugars have given way to cultivated trees. 


This venerable and pious man is one of the pioneers of 
Indiana, having came to the State over half a century ago. 

Mr. Downey was born in Washington county, Maryland, in 
1789, and there resided until 1818, when with his estimable 
lady, (now in her 76th year) they came to New Albany, Indiana. 

Bobert Doximey. 443 

After residing three years in that place he removed to 
Louisville, and there engaged in the Drug business. 

In 1825 he returned to New Albany and there remained 
until 1846, he then removed to St. Louis, Missouri, and en- 
gaged in the manufacture of lard oil. In 1851 he came to 
Indianapolis, and has here resided since that time There are 
many of the ladies of this city well remember seeing his 
smiling countenance at the delivery window of the Post Office, 
of this city. 

While a resident of New Albany he was one of the State 
Board of Directors of the State Bank of Indiana, also for a 
while a Director of the New Albany Branch of the State 

Out of a family of twelve children this venerable couple 
have but four lei't. They were the parents of the late Pro- 
fessor Downey, of the Asbury University. Another son was 
sent by the Methodist Episcopal Church as Missionary to 
India and died at Lucknow. They have a son and daughter 
residing in this city; the son, James E. Downey, is connected 
with the " Indianapolis Printing and Publishing Company."' 
The daughter is the wife of the Bev. John A. Brouse, and 
mother of Captain Charles Brouse, who is the Pension Agent 
for Indiana. 

Although Mr. Downey has lived out the time generally 
allotted to man, he yet seems hail and hearty, and one of the 
most patriarchial looking gentleman of the city, with a large 
square frame, high forehead, an arched brow, and hair as 
white as the driven snow, hanging down upon his shoulders. 
He is a Methodist of the Wesleyan school, and has no 
very high opinion of some of the innovations of the present 
day, upon the primitive customs of the Church, and worsliips 
his God in the plain old Methodist style. 

444 Early Reminiscences, 


The principal portion of the composition work of this book 
was done by Mr. Burgess, who is one of the veteran typos of 
this city, having become a citizen of it on the 17th of June? 

He is a native of the " Old North State," born in Camden 
county on the 27tli of November, 1807, and there learned the 
printing business, and although now in the sixty-third year of 
his age he is yet a correct compositor. 

He has been a professor of the " Art Preservative " for 
near half a century, and perhaps handled more stick's of type 
than any man now living in Indianapolis, and if, as said, that 
" practice makes perfect," he must have nearly attained per- 
fection in his profession, 

Mr. Burges has worked in the city of New York, in the 
Government printing office at Washington City, and resided 
and worked in Philadelphia some years before he came to the 
West and made this city his home. 

I would be pleased to see the old gentleman able to retire 
from labor during the remainder of his life ; which has been 
an active and industrious one. I remember Mr. Burges since 
he first came to Indianapolis, more than twenty-four years 


Is another veteran printer that has worked on this book 
Charles has been well-known to the writer and the citizens of 
Indianapolis for over thirty years, and we have ever found 
him a generous, kind hearted man, ever ready to render a 
brother typo or any other in trouble, such aid as is in his 
power to bestow. The great fault of Charlie is, he never 
knew how to value money ; always spending it with his 
friends as though he never expected it to fViil him. He is 

Elizabeth Nowland. 445 

perhaps as well known in the different printing offices of this 
city as any printer in the place. 

Charlie is a quick impulsive man, and sometimes flashes uji 
like powder, but like most all of his temperament he is 
equally ready to forgive and forget any intended injury when 
due reparation is made. 

He is a native of the State of Delaware, and came to the 
West in 1837, and to Indianapolis in 1839, since which time, 
with his i'amily he has here resided. 


I can not think of closing this work without paying a 
tribute of respect to the memory of my departed mother. 

From the autumn of 1822 to that of 185G there was no 
female whose name was more familiar to the citizens of Indi 
anapolis than that of Mrs. Nowland. Indeed there were but 
few persons more generally known throughout the State. 

We have frequently been asked when traveling through 
Illinois and other Western States if we were related to Mrs. 
Nowland, of Indianapolis. 

No person who ever knew her could forget her universal 
good humor, In her kindness to all, both rich nnd poor, there 
was no distinction made in their treatment. The poor were 
never turned away hungry or empty handed from her door, 
being ever ready to contribute '' the widow's mite" for all 
charitable purposes. 

She was left a widow at the age of thirty years, with five 
small children depending upon her for support. With the 
determination to keep her children together and have the care 
of them herself, she labored incessantly. She toiled with 
willing hands through the day and often late at night, sitting 
alone by her tallow candle. She found joy in providini^ for 
the wants of her children, and she never seemed to think her 
lot a hard one when her family wofc comfortable. 

446 Early Reminiscences. 

What matters it if her remains have long since mingled 
with earth ? There is a sympathetic chord still existing between 
mother and child, and there is an earlier and more indelible 
remembrance of her teachings by what is written on the heart 
in the first susceptibility of childhood, and engraven on 
Memory's tablet by a mother's tongue, in giving us our first 

I often think of her who could always find an excuse for 
any delinquency on my part, when I could not for myself. 
She who was the first to love, was ever the last to censure. 
The home of my childhood ! The very word falls sweetly on 
my ear, and recalls the many scenes of innocent plays, num- 
bered with the past, but with fond recollections. We delight 
to dwell on the early events of our life, and before the home 
circle had been invaded by death. The many years which 
have passed, have not dimmed the bright colors with which 
memory has painted those happy hours, spent with my 
mother in our rustic home. The memory of a mother's care 
and love should be enshrined in our gratitude and engraven 
upon our hearts. I venerate the very earth that wraps her 
slumbering ashes. 

A few years before the death of my mother I left the home 
of my childhood, (Indianapolis) then comparatively but a 
village, to seek my fortune among strangers, in an Eastern 
city, leaving the endearing associations of kindred and friends. 
To me it was a great sacrifice, yet duty and circumstances 
compelled me to make it. 

There was not a brook or tree but brought some pleasing 
recollections of my early life and school boy days, for the 
memory which recalls most vividly the happiness of youthful 
days is generally a more faithless record of their sorrow's. 
One has said that " They who dwell upon the fragrance of 
the flower are always the first to forget the sharpness of the 
thorn." Who, indeed, can recall the griefs and anxieties of 

Elizabeth Noidand. 447 

his early years, The throng of childish fears and disappoint- 
ments by which the sunshine of his young spirit was over- 
cast and shadowed. 

Well do I remember the little family circle that irat})ered 
around me in my mother's family room the evening before 
my departure, to bid me good bye. I little dreamed that 
to most of them I was bidding a long and last farewell ; and 
little did I think of the changes a few short years would 

About two years after her death 1 visited my old home, 
where I had left the unpretending village and I found a city 
of about twenty thousand inhabitants, with railroad com- 
munication to all parts of the Union. It was even then the 
railroad city of the West, nearly all the old land marks once 
so familiar to me were obliterated and gone. Where stood 
the humble shop of the mechanic there stood a large 
" Palatial Hotel ; " where stood the unpretending country 
Store House there was that magnificent specimen of archi- 
tectural grandeur — "Odd Fellows' Hall." If I had taken a 
Hip Van Winkle sleep I could not have expected so great a 
change as was there presented. 

In my wanderings through the city my eye rested upon a 
place more changed to me than any 1 had yet seen. It was 
my mother's "Old Brick House," I entered the fiimily room 
where but a few years before my friends had met to bid me 
good bye. It was there I had passed many years with 
kindred and friends. Oh ! what a change was there; already 
were its walls tottering and crumbling to the earth. Time 
had laid its heavy hand upon it. It had stood the blasts of 
thirty winters, and now like its former inmates it must give 
way for others. This house was the second brick buildiug 
on Washington street, and the third in the city. 

What a multitude of thrilling memories of oarlv years and 
happy dreams, mingling with the forms of the loved and the 

448 Early Reminiscences. 

dead, and the tones and voices heard no more. A soft but 
not unpleasant melancholy is sure to steal over us when we 
enter a house in which we have enjoyed ourselves in a numer- 
ous circle of friends and acquaintances. I was forcibly 
reminded of the language and could almost realize the feel- 
ings of the poet when he wrote : 

" I feel like one who walks alone, 
Some banquet hall deserted ; 
The lights are fled, the garlands dead, 
And all bui me departed." 

There was naught but strange voices saluted my ear. No 
kind mother came forth to embrace me with love beaming in 
her eye ; no loved sister to meet me .with a joyous smile ; no 
brother to take me by the hand and bid me thrice welcome 
under its once hospitable roof. 

All were gone ! I felt that I was almost the last of my 
race, and that there were but few whose kindred blood coursed 
through my veins. 

Just beyond the western limits of this city, of which I 
have been writing for some months, there is another city 
whose population has grown almost in proportion with this. 
It is the " City of the dead," whose many marble spires 
each indicating the last resting place of some loved friend or 
departed relative. 

It was there at twilight and alone, I sought my kindred. 
In that portion of the city set apart for our family, and cor- 
responding in number with that of my lost friends, I found 
those little hillocks which so forcibly remind us of the 
truth : " Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return." 

Although separated now, I live in the hope of meeting my 
friends in that other and better land. " Shall we know each 
other there?" Perhaps if the memory dies we will not, but 
if thought, lives and love is any reality, then shall " we 
know as we are known." 

Conclusion, 449 


In the publication of these sketches I have necessarily, for 
want of space, to leave out tiie names of many persons of 
whom I have written. Should I meet with the success I 
anticipate in publishing this volume, I shall finish up another 
in which I shall speak of other prominent business men, as 
well as the descendants of the old and first settlers of Indian- 

In what I here present to the reading public I have endeav- 
ored to be truthful and just to all. There may be some to find 
fault, to such I would say, that what I have written are my 
own opinions, founded in nearly every instance upon personal 
knowledge and observation. 

I have neither turned to the right nor to the left to make 
those sketches of character conform to the views of any 

I have written chiefly of men and things around me. 
If I have erred there is no one to blame but myself. If on 
the other hand I am correct, I shall have the proud satisfac- 
tion of knowing that I have done no one wrong. 

While writing these sketches I have felt some misgivings 
as to my competency for the task I had undertaken, and have 
been almost ready to drop my pen and abandon the work. I 
have never aspired to rank even with the satelites of literary 
luminaries, but 

" What is writ is writ,'' 
Would it were worthier. 




Allegory 286 

Alvord,' Elijahs 359 

Achey, Henry 374 

Brussell, Conrad 46 

Blake, James 60 

Basye, Lismond 74 

Bradley, Henry 79 

Bay, Billy \ 87 

Bpiton, Nathaniel 93 

Bates, Harvey 138 

Brown, Hiram 160 

Brady, Henry 171 

Bnrkhart, Bayid 177 

Beeler, Joseph 180 

Beeler, Fielding 182 

BroAvn, John G 222 

Brown, Bazil 236 

Ballad, A Pathetic 238 

Boatright, Cary H 268 

Beck, Samuel 308 

Brown, Mackerel 309 

Britton, Eev. James B 313 

Brown, William J 317 

Bnrk, John 360 

Bals, Charles 380 

Benham Brothers 390 

Barnitz, J. \V., sen 400 

Barnard, Jehiel 401 

Birkenmayer, J. P 404 

Baker, Goy. Conrad 419 

Burglary, First 273 

Brownii g Edmund 432 

Bright, Michael G 439 

Bright, Eichard J 440 

Burges, Cornelius N ,,..,444 

Capital, Selection 9 

Carter, ]\Iajor Thomas 63 

Cox, Nathaniel 99 


Cool, Dr. Jonathan 102 

Coe, Dr. Isaac 104 

Collins, Jerry 109 

Culbertson, Kobert 156 

Campbell, Charles C 189 

Coburn, Henry P 203 

Coburn, Hon." John 204 

Cain, Captain John 208 

Council, Thomas W 262 

Cox, Jacob 301 

Cady, Charles W 323 

CullV, Dayid V 326 

Canby, Samuel 342 

Carlisle, John 351 

Cottrell, Thomas 370 

Conclusion 449 

Dunlap,*Dr. Livingston 44 

Duvall, Joseph P 72 

Duke, Samuel 126 

Douglass, John 185 

Davis, Nathan 187 

Davis, Joseph W 378 

Davis, Isaac 388 

Drew, Samuel W 391 

Downey, Robert 442 

Emerson, Benjamin 286 

English, William H 384 

Early Colored Society 397 

Elliott, Dr. Thomas B 415 

English, Elisha G 422 

Ellerby, Dr. James 433 

First Winter in Indianapolis... 15 

Fish, Game and Skunks 40 

Fletcher, Calvin, sen 121 

Foote,Obed ....136 

Foudrav, John W 175 

FletcheV, T.K 225 

Frasee, James 241 


a: A 


Fletcher, Stoiifijliton A. sen 249 

Fire, First in Iiuliiinapolis 273 

Freneli, Charles G 854 

Good, Kicluird 88 

Givan, John 118 

Gates, Uriah 127 

Gregg, Harvey 148 

Griffith, Humphrey 172 

Goldsberry, tSamuel 20o 

Garner, Charles 812 

Grover, Aaron 840 

Gaston, Dr. John M 858 

Gold, Adam 872 

Gall, Dr. Alois D 395 

Glessing, Thomas B 402 

Harding Brothers 24 

Harrison, Christopher 44 

Han way, Amos, sen '.)() 

Henderson, Samuel lOl 

Helvey, Old Bob 115 

Harrison, Allied 15() 

Hanna, Gen. Robert 198 

Hogshire, Riley B 195 

Hogshire, William R 197 

Hill, John F 284 

Hoosier'sNest.... 248 

Holland, John W 248 

Holland, Theodore F 248 

Hubbard, William S 881 

Ilaugh, Adam 888 

Harniening, Fred. Christ 848 

Hereth,John C 844 

Hibben, Rev. William W 887 

Hannaman, W'illiam 480 

Indian attempts to cut a door 

down 17 

Incidents, 1821-22 127 

Incidents, 1828-24-25 104 

Johnson, Jerry 81 

Johnson, James, ICscj 5'8 

Johnson, Thomas 1 l() 

Jackson, William N 2!>7 

Jones, A(|uilla 881 

Josselyn l>rothers t.^ Co 407 

Kettleman, Jimmy 8.) 

Kinder, Isaac !'5 

Ketcham, John Jj 808 

Knodle, Adam :U)8 


Kellogg, Xewton 872 

Kemper, John M 4.'MJ 

Landis, Jacob 144 

Lingeiilelter, Archiljuhl 18«J 

Lockerlne, ( Jeorge 2.81 

Lofton, Josej)h 2iJ8 

Lofton, Dr. Sample 2^i8 

Lofton, Dr. .Mmon 2:{4 

Langsdalc, J.M. \V 815 

Lauer, Charles 844 

McCoriiiick, John 28 

Morris, Morris lOo 

Mhchell, Dr. Samuel (i 1<»8 

Maguire, Douglass 141 

McCartv. Nicholas, st-ii 158 

Mallory, David ir,2 

Mc( ieorge, Samuel 178 

Merrill, Saimu'l 1.S8 

^lori ison, James 212 

Morrison, William H 21G 

Morrison, Major Alexander F..21S 

McOuat, Thomas. 22'J 

Mear.s, Dr. (ieorge W 27«> 

MeCoid, Abram. 290 

Moore, Joseph M 821 

Mansnr, Frank 8:)9 

Mann, James H MX 

McChesney. Jacob B 849 

McKernan. James 11 8I1.8 

Moses, L. W 872 

Maver. Charles 878 

MaJy, lion. David ••\>^\ 

Maeauley. Mayor, haniel 428 

Nowlami, Matthias T 87 

Nowhind. Matthias K 52 

Norwood, < leorue l-)2 

Noel, Sam'l V. 11 191 

Noble, Gov. Noah 2tU 

Nelson, lleiirv II 2.<i 

Nooe, Daniel M 311 

• New, John C 3i 1 

Nowland, Kli/.abetl> 445 

O'Neal. Hugh Ill 

Owens, Nathaniel B 81«» 

Ohr. Ileury I^'X) 

Oliver, Dr." Dandridgi' II .'IS4 

rreparalion for renu»v;il 11 

I'ogue, Ge«»rge ^ 




Paxton, James 84 

Patterson, Kobert 1 20 

Pence, Joseph 153 

Phipps, Isaac N 154 

Pitts, Stephen 228 

Pottawattamie Prophet 240 

Peck, Edwin J 252 

Pratt, Hon. Daniel D 255 

Pinney, William H. H 2G6 

Palmer, Hon. Nathan B 275 

Patterson, Samuel H 294 

Paul, George 298 

Pope, Dr. Abner 325 

Parry, Dr. Charles 338 

Patterson, John P 342 

Kussell, Alexander W 28 

Pteynolds, Caleb 68 

Kooker, Samuel S 82 

Ray, James M 89 

Ralston, Alexander 94 

Reagan, Wilks, Esq 133 

Redding, John W 134 

Reid, Archibald C 153 

Ray, Gov. James B 199 

Ray, Rev. Edwin 223 

Rasener, Christ. Fred 343 

Ryan, James B 378 

Robinson, William H.H 406 

Ransdell, Daniel M 429 

Ream, Miss Laura 434 

Ricketts, Hon. Dillard 441 

Spring of 1821 26 

Shafler, Daniel 34 

Shunk, John 49 

Scudder, Caleb 81 

Stephens, Daniel 88 

Smith, George 91 

Smith, Andrew 124 

Sulgrove, James 157 

Sulgrove, Berry R 158 

Smock, John 199 

Stevens, Joshua 207 

Smith, James M 211 

Sharpe, Ebenezer 219 

Sharpe, Thomas H 221 

Sheets, William 269 

Sweetser, Philip 279 


Sullivan, William, Esq 287 

Sanders, Dr. John H 290 

Snuth, Justin 328 

Smith, Paul B. L 345 

Sharpe, Joseph K 347 

Sullivan, John B 366 

Smith, X. R 392 

Stilz, J. George 405 

Socwell, Capt'ain H. M 418 

Solomon, J. & M 425 

Schwabacher & Selig 432 

Smock, William C 436 

Townsend, Billy 70 

Taffe, George, sen 161 

Tom, Fancy 169 

Tavlor, Robert 173 

Taylor, N. B 173 

Tutewiler, Henry 265 

Tutewiler Brothers 266 

Talbott, John M 282 

Talbott, Wm. H 283 

Thompson, Dr. W. Clinton 382 

Turner, William H 411 

Talbot, Bishop 414 

Upfold, Bishop 412 

Van ]>laricum, John 114 

Van Houten, Cornelius W 190 

Vance, Lawrence M 292 

Vickers, Corson 431 

Wilson, Isaac 25 

Whitzell fomily 54 

Whiizell, Cyrus 51 

Wilkins, John 78 

Wilson. Andrew 80 

Wick, William W 137 

Walpole, Luke, and familv 147 

Williams, David \ 160 

Wingate, Joseph 206 

Wallace, Gov. David 293 

Wilkinson, William 309 

Wright, John H 337 

Wallace, Andrew 355 

Wallace, William John 368 

Warner, Charles G..... 444 

Yandes, Daniel 76 

Yandes, Simon 77 

Yohn, James C 284 







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Unredeemed Pledges for Sale. 


Kentucky Bourbon 

w in S K Y . 


\\ 1 1 1 S Iv V 



Domestic Wines and Liqnors. 




No. 41 South Delaware Street, 

Mozart Hall Building, INDIANAPOLIS, IND. 




(;«•!. I»KN 

Kentucky Bourbon 

Crown Bourbon 

\V U I S K ^ . 

W 1 1 I ^ K \ 

'I^HO'S* COl^^BElili* 


Tin Plate^ Copper 


RuHsia Iron, Sheet Zinc, Slab Zinc, 

Antimony, Japanned and Pressed Tinware, 

Block Tin, Rivets, Iron, Copper and Brass Wire, 
Lead Pipe, Sheet Lead, Rubber Hose, 

Tinners' Tools, Brass Work, Iron Pumps. 







V^ X 









25 West Washington St., 



B. F. HAUGH & CO., 


Jail and Court House Work 





J4 South Pennsylvania St., 

IMmi^M^FOE^iB. 1MB. 





Corner of Noble and Fletcher Av., 

Goods delivered to all parts of the City 



CAPITAL $1,000,000 

Wm. H. ENGLISH, President. 
JOHN 0. NEW, Cashier. 


H. BATES, Jk., 



Washington and Meridian Streets 





Nos. 14 & 16 

SOUTH stiie:et 


Orders for Shipment Solicited and Promptly Attended to. 


Whips, Blankets, Collars, 

Buffalo Robes, Bells, Hardware, Etc. 


West of Court House, INDIANAPOLIS, IND. 


Saddle P*a<is and Saddle Shields. 

They are a positive cure for horses when galled, and will never create sores or 
galls on the most tender horses. 

S. ^W. DRE^W, 




Wholesale Dealers in 

Poreign ^ Domestic "Wines 


25 South Meridian Street,